Sanders to visit Vatican next week
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Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: The center strikes back Sanders against infrastructure deal with more gas taxes, electric vehicle fees Sunday shows - Voting rights, infrastructure in the spotlight MORE on Friday morning announced a visit to the Vatican next week to attend a conference on social, economic and environmental issues.
“I am delighted to have been invited by the Vatican to a meeting on restoring social justice and environmental sustainability to the world economy," the Vermont senator said in a statement. 
"Pope Francis has made clear that we must overcome ‘the globalization of indifference’ in order to reduce economic inequalities, stop financial corruption and protect the natural environment. That is our challenge in the United States and in the world.”
The meeting, held on April 15, will come just four days before the New York primary. The announcement came on the same day that Pope Francis issued a major publication called "The Joy of Love," which called for the Catholic community to be more open to those who have been divorced and for individual decisions to be matters of conscience.
It was unclear whether Sanders will meet with the pontiff.
"I was very moved by the invitation, I am a big, big fan of the pope," Sanders said in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday.
"People think Bernie Sanders is radical. Read what the pope is writing."
Father Federico Lombardi, the Pope’s spokesman, said Sanders had been invited “not by the pope but by the pontifical academy of social sciences.” 
- Updated at 1:24 p.m.