Pope Francis: Sanders Greeting Just 'Common Courtesy,' Not Political Endorsement

  • by: Alan Duke

While Bernie Sanders' campaign was quick to tout his brief encounter with Pope Francis Saturday, the Pontiff made it clear to a Catholic reporter that it was just "common courtesy."

Crux Now, a website devoted to covering the pope and his church, published this about what Francis told reporters on his flight back to the Greek island of Lesbo from Rome Saturday.

Bristling at impressions that his brief greeting of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Saturday ahead of a trip to Greece was a political statement, Pope Francis called it merely "common courtesy", and said anyone who sees it differently needs "a psychiatrist."

The pontiff also said that his recent document on marriage and the family, Amoris Laetitia, did indeed change the situation in the Church for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, but avoided offering any details.

He also explained his decision to bring three refugee families on the plane with him from his trip Saturday to the Greek island of Lesbos back to Rome, describing it not as a political gesture but a "completely humanitarian" one.

Sanders, who took two days out of his campaigning for the New York primary to fly to the Vatican, tweeted this:

  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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