ROME -- After debating Hillary Clinton in Brooklyn Thursday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders jumped on an overnight flight to Rome. His arrival at the Vatican created a frenzy. He was met with signs that included "Rome is Berning."
"When I received the invitation -- I know it's taking me away from the campaign trail for a day. It was so moving to me that it was something I simply could not refuse to attend," he said.
In reality, Sanders just brought the campaign trail to Rome. In a speech there, he hit many of the same themes, calling for a more just economy, and often using the pope's own words.
Bishop Marcello Sanchez Sorondo, the man who invited Sanders to a usually obscure conference at an academy advising the Pope on issues like social inequality, says getting involved in political movements "is important."
The pope has already figured into the race for U.S. president, when Trump suggested building a wall between Mexico and the U.S. and the pope said, in Italian, that "A person who thinks only about building walls...is not Christian."
After an invitation to Sanders, is Trump next?
"I don't see it," said the bishop.
Officially the Vatican has distanced itself form this invitation - and has said the Pope will not meet Sanders. This trip was billed as being "above politics" -- rather it is all about politics.