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Bernie Sanders accepts Vatican invitation, will travel to Rome

Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Pope Francis waves to the faithful in St. Peter’s Square at the end of Palm Sunday Mass on March 20, 2016 in Vatican City, Vatican. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders travels to Vatican City on April 15 to attend a social sciences conference.Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images

NEW YORK, NY – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday accepted an invitation from the Vatican to attend a conference hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences 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,” said Sanders.

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.” – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders

The Sanders camp announced the trip in a release on Friday morning, prior to the senator’s scheduled appearance on NBC’s The Today Show.

The Vatican meeting is scheduled for April 15, the 25th anniversary of an important encyclical of Pope John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, which called for an economy of dignity, social justice and environmental sustainability.

“Pope Francis is calling on world leaders, grassroots organizations and the scientific community to share their knowledge and insights on how these great objectives can be achieved in our time,” Chancellor Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo said in a statement on Friday.

The meeting is a win for Climate Change awareness and preparedness proponents, with Sanders and the Pontif aligning on the ill effects of climate change as a reality.

“Our intention is socio-political in the highest sense of the term, because according to art. 1 of our Statutes, the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences was established by the Holy Father John Paul II on 1 January 1994 with the aim of promoting the study and progress of the social sciences, primarily economics, sociology, law and political science,” Sorondo wrote.

Sanders, a long-time supporter of Congressional and environmental action to address Climate Change has made it a central issue of his presidential campaign. His message doesn’t falter.

“Climate change is the single greatest threat facing our planet. The debate is over, and the scientific jury is in: global climate change is real, it is caused mainly by emissions released from burning fossil fuels and it poses a catastrophic threat to the long-term longevity of our planet,” reads his Combating Climate Change to Save the Planet web page.

An opponent of Wall Street’s economic stronghold on Middle America, coupled with corporate profiteering and control of the energy industry, Sanders campaign takes on the fossil fuel industry.

Sanders message, “We have an energy policy that is rigged to boost the profits of big oil companies like Exxon, BP, and Shell at the expense of average Americans. CEO’s are raking in record profits while climate change ravages our planet and our people — all because the wealthiest industry in the history of our planet has bribed politicians into complacency in the face of climate change.”

This article originally appeared on Examiner.com on April 8, 2016. 

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