On the flight back from Lesbos, Francis confirmed the encounter, but played it down considerably. “This morning as I was leaving, Senator Sanders was there,” Francis told reporters on the plane. “He knew I was coming out at that time, and he had the kindness to greet me. When I came down, he introduced himself, I greeted him with a handshake, and nothing more. It’s common courtesy, this is called common courtesy."
Then, for good measure, he added, “If someone thinks that greeting someone is getting involved in politics, I recommend that they find a psychiatrist.”
An ABC News article, written by MaryAlice Parks, asserts Sanders and Pope Francis share similar views on the topics of political engagement, wages, the family, unemployment, war, climate change, health care, and inequality.
Sanders has also reposted the ABC article on his official senate website.
Last month, Sanders tweeted his approval of an article claiming the senator and the pope are both “prophetic voices.”