Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders — who called himself a "very, very big fan of the pope" on Friday morning — has announced that he will head to the Vatican next week for a meeting about social, economic and environmental issues.
Sanders, who is Jewish, accepted an invitation from Vatican officials and will meet with Pope Francis on April 15 to discuss creating a "moral economy" that works for all citizens.
In a statement announcing the trip — which will be held just four days before the New York State primary — the Democratic contender said that he is a fan of Pope Francis' take on the modern-day "idolatry of money," the Associated Press reported.
"I am delighted to have been invited by the Vatican to a meeting on restoring social justice and environmental sustainability to the world economy," Sanders 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."
The trip will consist of a meeting with the pontiff as well as a conference that will be held by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences about economic, social and environmental issues, according to the New York Times.
Sanders did say on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday that, while he has some disagreements with the religious leader when it comes to gay marriage and women's rights, he's a fan of Pope Francis' positions on the poor and income inequality.
"He has played an unbelievable role of injecting a moral consequence into the economy," Sanders said of Pope Francis. "People think Bernie Sanders is radical. Read what the pope is writing."
He continued, "He's talking about the idolatry of money the worship of money, the greed that's out there."
Listen to a discussion of Sanders' upcoming trip to the Vatican heard on TheBlaze Radio.
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