Pope says his meeting with Sanders not political meddling

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 16, 2016 12:31 PM

ROME (Reuters) - Pope Francis said on Saturday that his meeting with Bernie Sanders, contesting the Democratic candidacy for the U.S. Presidency, was not meddling in politics and that anyone who thought otherwise should "look for a psychiatrist".

Sanders and the pope met briefly on Saturday at the Vatican guest house where Francis lives and where Sanders spent the night after addressing a Vatican conference on social justice.

"When I came down, I greeted him, I shook his hand and nothing more. This is called good manners and it is not getting involved in politics," the pope told reporters in answer to a question aboard the plane returning from the Greek island of Lesbos, where he visited a refugee camp. [L5N17J063].

"If anyone thinks that greeting someone is getting involved in politics, I recommend that he look for a psychiatrist," he said, laughing.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella; editing by Ralph Boulton)