Last week, it was announced that Bernie Sanders had been invited to the Vatican to speak at a conference celebrating the 25th anniversary of “Centesimus Annus,” written by Pope John Paul II, in which the pope denounced the evils of capitalism.
Sanders said he was “very moved by the invitation.”
Of course, that couldn’t be the end of the story. Vice News, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, released a story today with the headline “Vatican Says the Pope Didn’t Invite Sanders and Isn’t Planning to Meet With Him,” proving that the media is beginning to panic over Sanders’s popularity and his increasing chances of becoming the Democratic nominee. The non-story simply reiterates that Sanders was not personally invited by the pope, although he was definitely invited to speak at the conference.
Margaret Archer, president of the Ponitifical Academy of Social Sciences, which is the academy that invited Sanders to speak at the event, spoke with media outlets, who were quick to print her words.
‘Though he’s made poverty and economic inequality a centerpiece of his campaign, Sanders’ participation threatens to inject politics into a solemn, largely academic gathering, Archer told Bloomberg. The senator, she added, wasn’t on anyone’s official guest list.
‘Sanders made the first move, for the obvious reasons,’ Archer said. ‘I think in a sense he may be going for the Catholic vote but this is not the Catholic vote and he should remember that and act accordingly – not that he will.’
That didn’t sound at all biased, did it?
US News and World Report, however, says that the academy’s chancellor oversaw the invitation.
Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, the academy’s chancellor, said he arranged for Sanders’ invitation, although Bloomberg reports that the bishop ‘repeatedly declined to say who initiated the contact.’
As a senator, well before ever throwing his hat into the ring in the 2016 presidential race, Sanders’s work on economic inequality and his belief that unfettered capitalism in the modern age is exploitative and based in greed made him an ideal speaker at such a conference. This is what is important to Sanders’s base, not a personally hand-written invitation from Pope Francis.
Nice try, Vice News, but you aren’t going to lose Bernie Sanders any votes this way.
See Bernie’s announcement about his invitation to speak at the conference at the Vatican here:
Featured image screengrab via YouTube