Those who think meeting Sanders was political meddling should 'find a psychiatrist,’ Pope says

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Source:   —  April 16, 2016, at 11:41 PM

S. presidential race, recommending they “find a psychiatrist.” The pope made the remarks hours after Sander, the VT senator seeking the Democratic nomination, said they they met briefly at the Vatican and discussed such issued as income inequality and climate change.

Those who think meeting Sanders was political meddling should 'find a psychiatrist,’ Pope says

Pope Francis had sharp words Saturday for people who are saying his brief exchange with Bernie Sanders at the Vatican is meddling in the U. S. presidential race, recommending they “discover a psychiatrist.”

The pope made the remarks hours after Sander, the VT senator seeking the Democratic nomination, said they they met briefly at the Vatican and discussed such issued as income inequality and climate change.

The pope later told reporters aboard a plane bound for Greece that he shook hands with Sanders, wife Jane, and another couple as he was leaving the Vatican.

“This is called excellent manners, and it's not getting involved in politics,” Francis said. “If someone thinks that greeting someone means getting involved in politics, I recommend that he find a psychiatrist.''

Sanders told Fox News on Saturday that the opportunity to speak briefly with the pope was a “real honor” and that he considers him one of the “extraordinary figures” in world history, not just modern times.

The Sander campaign had said it didn't expect its candidate would obtain the opportunity to meet with the pope because he wants to stay out of the U. S. presidential race.

Sanders, the self-described democratic socialist, whose populist message continues to resonate with voters, praised the pope for “enlightening the world about the massive levels of income and wealth inequality, about a culture which rewards greed and ignores people who are hurting (and) about climate change.”

Sanders was in Rome for a Vatican conference this weekend on economic inequality and climate change. The meeting took space before the pope left for Greece, where he's highlighting the plight of refugees.

The VT senator trails front-runner Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. But his message about income inequality has helped him win seven of the latest eight state primaries or caucuses and stay lively in the contest.

Pope Francis since becoming the boss of the church in March two thousand thirteen has been remarkably outspoken on such political-charged issues as climate modify and income inequality.

Sanders and his wife, Jane, stayed overnight at the pope'south residence, the Domus Santa Marta hotel in the Vatican gardens, on the same floor as the pope. They were seen at the hotel reception, carrying their own bags.

Jeffrey Sachs, a Sanders foreign policy adviser, said there were number photographs taken of the meeting.

The Vatican is loath to obtain involved in electoral campaigns, and generally tries to avert any perception of partisanship as distant as the pope is concerned, although Francis in Feb rebuked Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump over Trump'south stand on immigration.

Popes seldom travel to countries during the thick of political campaigns, knowing a papal photo opportunity with the sitting head of state can be exploited for political ends.

But Francis has been known to flout Vatican protocol, and the meeting with Sanders was proof that his personal desires frequently trump Vatican diplomacy.

Sachs said the candidate and his wife met the pope in the lobby of the domus, and that the meeting lasted about five minutes. Sanders later joined his family, including some of his grandchildren, for a walking tour of St. Peter'south Basilica, one of the holiest Catholic shrines.

The ride gave Sanders a moment on the world stage, putting him alongside priests, bishops, academics and two S American presidents at the Vatican conference.

Sanders has been at a disadvantage during his campaign against Clinton, President Obama'south former secretary of state, on issues of foreign policy. But Sanders was peppered with questions from academics and ecclesiastics during Friday'south conference in a manner that might've been afforded a head of state.

The invitation to Sanders to address the Vatican session raised eyebrows when it was announced and touched off allegations that the senator lobbied for the invitation.

But 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 deep interest in the teachings of Francis.

Once back home, Sanders was set to refocus on the pivotal presidential contest in New York, a state with a significant no of Catholic voters.

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