Margaret Archer, president of Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, said that Sanders had actually invited himself. “Sanders made the first move, for the obvious reasons,” Archer said. “He may be going for the Catholic vote but this is not the Catholic vote and he should remember that and act accordingly -- not that he will.”
Not long after, Monsignor Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences contradicted Archer’s statement, saying “ I invited him with her consensus.” However, he later backtracked in a CNN interview, admitting that Sander had indeed reached out to the Vatican first-- not the other way around, as Sanders had tried to claim.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi also confirmed for reporters that it wasn’t the pope who personally invited the politician. “The invitation was made on behalf of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, not by Pope Francis,” he said. “There is no expectation that the pope will meet Mr. Sanders.”