Conspiracy theorists, haters and detractors went to work immediately upon hearing the news that Bernie Sanders was invited to speak at the Vatican.
On Thursday, Bernie Sanders was invited by the Vatican to attend a conference on social, economic and environmental issues and give a speech on 15 April. It took less than 24 hours for conspiracy theorists, haters and detractors to spin the visit into a self-serving political stunt.
It all started based on an article that Bloomberg published in which Vatican official Margaret Archer casts some aspersions on the invitation. Archer, the President of the Academy of social sciences at the Vatican had her feelings hurt when the invitation was extended by officials higher up in the chain of command.
The Bloomberg article reads:
The president of the academy said Friday that Sanders didn’t follow proper protocol by failing to contact her office… Archer said that while she “quite liked” Sanders’s program on paper, his failure to contact her first is a breach of protocol.
Archer dug in even further and offered plenty of bait with this comment:
Sanders made the first move, for the obvious reasons. 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.
This of course immediately led to accusations that Bernie Sanders had somehow invited himself to the Vatican and was now the perpetrator of a “monumental discourtesy.”
Late last night, I sent out this tweet:
We have 5 candidates – 4 "Christians" and 1 Jew. Who does the Vatican call?
— richard zombeck (@zombeck) April 9, 2016
and as a response, got this:
— kurtis udenyi Adigba (@udenyi65) April 9, 2016
At first glance such an accusation would seem preposterous and, as it turns out, it was.
It seems that Margaret Archer’s ego and pride may not only have affected her judgment, but also put her in a little bit of hot water.
Again, according to the now updated article in Bloomberg, “The academy’s chancellor said he arranged the invitation and defended the Vermont senator.”
Other high-ranking officials not only confirmed the Chancellor’s statements, but made it clear that this was not a spur of the moment invitation.
From Business Insider:
Monsignor Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, the chancellor of the Pontifical Academy, also rejected reports that Sanders invited himself, according to Reuters. ‘I deny that. It was not that way,’ Sorondo said.
To further the point, Monsignor Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo told Reuters that the invitation was sent on March 30th, signed by Soronda and included Archer. Sorondo, just short of calling Archer a liar, said, “This is not true and she knows it. I invited him with her consensus.”
I hope that clears thing up for @udenyi65 and the rest of the conspiracy theorists.
You can also listen to Richard Zombeck with Tony Trupiano on T&Z Talk