After having arrived about 16 minutes late due to a customs delay at the Ciampino Airport, the democratic presidential hopeful and senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, finally arrived to the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences.
He was among several speakers like Presidents Evo Morales of Bolivia and Rafael Correa of Ecuador who were invited to the 25th anniversary of "Centesimus Annus,” Pope John Paul II's encyclical, commemorating a Vatican-sponsored conference on global economic, social and environmental issues.
"Twenty-five years after Centesimus Annus, speculation, illicit financial flows, environmental destruction, and the weakening of the rights of workers is far more severe than it was a quarter century ago.”
Sanders took the opportunity to align himself with a man who also heavily criticizes the disproportion of wealth in the world and the hidden corruption that hides under the trenches of capitalism: Pope Francis.
After his conference speech, Senator Sanders took a moment to speak to some members of the press outside. He was joined by his wife, Jane Sanders, a sea of US secret service agents, along with some political supporters that were cheering him on.
"I believe that the Pope has played a historical role, an incredible role,in trying to create a new world economy and a new vision of the people of our planet.”
In the midst of his preparation to his upcoming trip to the Island of Lesbes, the Pope was unable to attend the conference. He sent an apology letter.