Well, it finally happened. The pope felt the Bern.
Against expectations, Pope Francis and Senator Bernie Sanders, the Democrat candidate for U.S. president, met privately today in the Vatican hotel where the pontiff resides and where Sanders was staying as a guest.
Bernie Sanders was in Rome for the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences meeting to discuss his economic, environmental and moral concerns (as summed up in Sanders’own words during the press scrum that followed).
The Pontifical Academy’s meeting was dedicated to the 25th anniversary of John Paul II’s Centisimus Annus, arguably the most pro-market encyclical in the history of Catholic social teaching published in 1991 on the 100th anniversary of Leo XIII’s 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum which also praised private property rights, the value of personal liberty, and likewise denounced Marxism on grounds of mistaken anthropology.