Pope plays down the Bern 'meeting'

2016-04-16 18:57
US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, backdropped by the dome of St Peter's Basilica, listens to questions during an interview. (Alessandra Tarantino, AP)

US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, backdropped by the dome of St Peter's Basilica, listens to questions during an interview. (Alessandra Tarantino, AP)

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Rome - Pope Francis says he briefly greeted US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and the two shook hands, in what he has described as a sign of good manners, "nothing more".

The pope says it wasn't evidence that he was getting mixed up in American politics.

Francis says Sanders - along with Sanders' wife and another couple - were in the lobby of the Vatican hotel where the pope lives, when he left for a trip to Greece on Saturday morning.

The pope told reporters travelling back to the Vatican with him that he decided to greet Sanders and the others because it was the polite thing to do.

"When I came down, I greeted them, shook their hands and nothing more. It's good manners."

The pope then added with a laugh: "If someone thinks that greeting someone means getting mixed up in politics, they should see a psychiatrist."

Read more on:    bernie sanders  |  pope francis  |  us  |  vatican city  |  us 2016 elections

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