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                                                                                                                                    Saturday 16 April 2016

At the Vatican, Sanders blasts ‘immoral’ wealth inequality 

KEN THOMAS                     of foreign policy but he was    system.                       During the meetings, he sat                                     in the campaign until the
NICOLE WINFIELD                peppered with questions         He told the audience that     next to the other main guest                                    party’s July convention.
Associated Press               from academics and ec-          rather than a world econ-     of honor at the Vatican:                                        His message calling for a
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Ber-       clesiastics in a manner that    omy that looks out for the    Bolivian President Evo Mo-                                      political revolution to ad-
nie Sanders issued a global    might have been afforded        common good, “we have         rales, whose is renowned                                        dress wealth inequality and
call to action at the Vatican  a head of state.                been left with an economy     for his anti-imperialist, so-                                   the influence of Wall Street
on Friday to address “im-                                                                                                                                    on  U.S. politics has galva-
moral and unsustainable”       US Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. speaks at a conference                                       nized many Democrats
wealth inequality and pov-     commemorating the 25th anniversary of ‘ Centesimus Annus,’ a high-level teaching document                                     and independents.
erty, using the high-profile   by Pope John Paul II on the economy and social justice at the end of the Cold War, at the Vatican,                            Despite being enmeshed
gathering to echo one of       Friday, April 15, 2016.                                                                                                       in an increasingly bitter
the central platforms of his                                                                                                                                 campaign against Clinton,
presidential campaign.                                                                                                          (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)  Sanders aides said the trip
The Democratic senator                                                                                                                                       was not aimed at appeal-
from Vermont cited Pope        Sanders trails Clinton in the   operated for the top 1 per-   cialist rhetoric. President                                     ing to Catholic voters who
Francis and St. John Paul      Democratic primaries but        cent, who get richer and      Rafael Correa of Ecuador                                        comprise a large share of
II repeatedly during his       the trip to the Vatican and     richer as the working class,  also attended.                                                  the Democratic electorate
speech to the Vatican con-     his massive rally earlier this  the young and the poor fall   As he walked through                                            in New York and an upcom-
ference commemorating          week with 27,000 people         further and further behind.”  Vatican City’s Perugino                                         ing contest in Pennsylvania.
the 25th anniversary of a      in New York City may have       “We don’t choose to po-       gate, Sanders was greeted                                       The Vatican has been loath
landmark teaching docu-        offered a glimpse of the        liticize the pope,” Sanders   about two dozen support-                                        to get involved in electoral
ment from John Paul on so-     senator’s aim to become         told attendees, “but his      ers, some of whom car-                                          campaigns and usually tries
cial and economic justice      a progressive leader, win or    spirit and courage and the    ried signs bearing Sand-                                        to avoid any perception of
after the Cold War.            lose. The discussions gave      fact, if I may say so here,   ers’ name. “This is the first                                   partisanship involving the
Sanders arrived in Rome        him a chance to expand          that his words have gone      candidate I have seen in                                        pope. Popes rarely travel to
hours after wrapping up a      on his core campaign mes-       way, way, way beyond the      awhile, a matter of fact                                        countries during the thick of
debate in New York Thurs-      sages about the need to         Catholic Church.”             my entire life, that I feel like                                political campaigns, know-
day night, saying the op-      reform banking regula-          Sanders also warned that      wants to make real chang-                                       ing a papal photo oppor-
portunity to address the       tions, campaign finance         youth around the world are    es,” said Kevin Jaksik, 29, of                                  tunity with a sitting head of
Vatican conference was         rules and higher education.     no longer satisfied with the  Austin, Texas, who now lives                                    state could be exploited for
too meaningful to pass up.     Asked about inequality in       status quo, which includes    in Rome.                                                        political ends.
The roughly 24-hour visit      public education, he said it    “corrupt and broken poli-     Back home, Clinton holds                                        As a result, the invitation
precedes Tuesday’s crucial     was “beyond disgraceful”        tics and an economy of        a significant delegate lead                                     to Sanders to address the
New York primary, which        and cited challenging con-      stark inequality and injus-   against Sanders, but the                                        Vatican conference raised
Sanders must do well in to     ditions in Detroit’s school     tice.”                        senator has vowed to stay                                       eyebrows and allegations
maintain a viable chal-                                                                                                                                      that the senator lobbied for
lenge to Democratic front-                                                                                                                                   the invitation.
runner Hillary Clinton.                                                                                                                                      The chancellor for the pon-
Pope Francis apologized                                                                                                                                      tifical academy, Bishop
that he couldn’t personally                                                                                                                                  Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo,
greet participants at the                                                                                                                                    has said he invited Sand-
Vatican conference. No                                                                                                                                       ers because he was the
meeting with Sanders was                                                                                                                                     only  U.S. presidential can-
expected.                                                                                                                                                    didate who showed deep
But the trip gave Sanders                                                                                                                                    interest in the teachings of
a moment on the world                                                                                                                                        Francis.
stage, placing him along-                                                                                                                                    The Rev. Matt Malone, edi-
side priests, bishops, aca-                                                                                                                                  tor of the Jesuit magazine
demics and two South                                                                                                                                         America, said Sanders’ trip
American presidents. Sand-                                                                                                                                   was unlikely to have much
ers has been at a disadvan-                                                                                                                                  of an impact on Catholic
tage during his campaign                                                                                                                                     voters, noting that confer-
against Clinton, President                                                                                                                                   ences like the one Sanders
Barack Obama’s former                                                                                                                                        is attending “happen all
secretary of state, on issues                                                                                                                                the time.”q
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