Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican's spokesman has specifically said the Pope did NOT invite Sanders and there is NO meeting scheduled.
— Ale (@aliasvaughn) April 8, 2016
Okay, Sen. Sanders has been in politics for more than fifteen minutes, it’s not like he’s gonna turn down an audience with the Pope. But maybe he should’ve checked the small print a little more carefully before people started comparing him to Kim Davis. Per Bloomberg Politics:
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’s plan to attend a Vatican-sponsored conference put him in the middle of a diplomatic row as a senior Vatican official accused the senator of showing “monumental discourtesy” in angling for an invitation that puts a political cast on the gathering.
Sanders, whose foreign policy experience is under attack by competitor Hillary Clinton, said Friday he was “very excited” to have been invited to the conference on economic and social issues hosted by a pontifical academy in Rome on April 15. It will put him at the seat of the Roman Catholic Church four days before the New York primary.
It has also inserted Sanders into a dispute among Vatican officials. The president of the academy said Friday that Sanders didn’t follow proper protocol — he failed to contact her office — and that his presence threatens to make the event political. The academy’s chancellor said he arranged the invitation and defended the Vermont senator.
“Sanders made the first move, for the obvious reasons,” Margaret Archer, president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, which is hosting the conference, said in a telephone interview. “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.”…[Campaign manager Jeff] Weaver said on Bloomberg Television’s “With All Due Respect” Friday that Sanders has “great affinity” for the pope and his message on the moral economy, adding that he has no intention of canceling the trip to continue campaigning in New York, which will be a pivotal contest in the Democratic race.
“Some things are more important than politics,” Weaver said. “When you get invited by the Vatican, I think you go.”
The office of the pope moved to distance the pontiff from the visit. Father Federico Lombardi, the Pope’s spokesman, said Sanders had been invited “not by the pope but by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.” Lombardi told the Italian news agency Ansa: “For the moment there is no expectation that there will also be a meeting with the pope.”…
So it looks like the pundits on social media are settling on a “not well served by his advisers” narrative. (Fingers are being pointed at Jeffrey Sachs, for reasons.) Ever since the NYTimes article where said advisers got a (perhaps premature) chance to blame each other for the campaign’s “early missteps”, it’s been mooted that Tad “Grifter” Devine and Jeff “Comic-Book Proprietor” Weaver are keeping an eye on the emergency exits just in case. (It’d been more chivalrous not to settle on castigating Jane Sanders for her foolish quibbling about his quote-unquote Senate job, but then, she’s been married long enough to have no illusions about the BernieBros, amateur or professional.)
The Vatican, after all, has its own status as a city-state to consider. The Holy See is certainly well aware of how the Kim Davis kerfuffle — not to mention the Repubs’ attempt to make Netanyahu their sock puppet last year — did not go over quite as planned. (I hadn’t been aware that Snopes.com had a ‘FALSE: Pope Francis endorses Sanders‘ entry, but they’ve dutifully updated it now!)
If you think Pope Francis invited Sanders to the Vatican, you should insist Bernie stay in Rome until he gets a meeting.
— Wyeth Ruthven (@wyethwire) April 8, 2016
@algiordano I don't think Sanders will be going to Rome. The cancellation will be quiet, but it's coming.
— R.S. Martin (@RSMwriter) April 9, 2016
"Oops. We meant Rome, New York, in Oneida County…" https://t.co/LBbO9006pl
— AlGiordano (@AlGiordano) April 9, 2016
— Miss Sneaky Squirrel (@missneakysqurl) April 9, 2016