Source: USA Today…
Pope Francis Calls Sanders Meeting ‘Polite’ Not Politics
“We had an opportunity to meet with him this morning,” Sanders told the Associated Press. “It was a real honor for me, for my wife and I to spend some time with him. I think he is one of the extraordinary figures not only in the world today but in modern world history.” Sanders, who is Jewish, said he has long been a “big fan” of the pope’s teachings on economic justice.
Sanders, in the thick of the presidential race, had to break off his primary campaigning and fly all night to get to the Vatican, where he addressed a Vatican conference on social justice and spent the night at the Vatican guest house where Francis lives.
The pope, who made a brief trip to Greece on Saturday to visit a refugee camp, spoke to reporters on the plane home about his encounter with the American politician. “When I came down, I greeted him, I shook his hand and nothing more. This is called good manners and it is not getting involved in politics,” the pope said, according to Reuters.
“If anyone thinks that greeting someone is getting involved in politics, I recommend that he look for a psychiatrist,” he said, laughing.
Sanders was at the Vatican to attend a conference on economic inequality and climate change hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. His decision to leave the New York campaign trail at such a critical time was questioned all week. But Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, told CNN that “there are some things that are above politics” and that the conference gave Sanders a chance to discuss signature issues of his.
While some alleged Sanders lobbied for the invitation, the chancellor for the pontifical academy, Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, said he invited Sanders because he was the only U.S. presidential candidate who showed strong interest in Francis’ teachings.