Sen. Bernie Sanders is visiting the Vatican on Friday, and while he might be hoping to bump into Pope Francis, it looks like that's not going to happen. "There won't be a meeting with the Holy Father," Vatican spokesperson Rev. Federico Lombardi told The New York Times, ruling out the possibility of a rendezvous.
While in Rome, Sanders will attend a conference hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences where he is scheduled to deliver a 10-minute speech on creating a "moral economy" and "addressing the planetary crisis of climate change." Sanders says he is the "only American public official speaking at the gathering."
His trip comes at an unusual time — he jetted off right after wrapping his contentious Brooklyn debate against Hillary Clinton and is leaving New York just days before the state's April 19 primary. But Sanders says it's an opportunity he couldn't miss. "I would just be kicking myself for the rest of my life if I rejected this opportunity," he said, "so I'm delighted to be going."