A Vatican official is defending the decision to invite pro-abortion Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to speak at an upcoming conference on economic and environmental issues, as Pope Francis has reiterated the Catholic Church’s opposition to abortion.
“No alleged right to one’s own body can justify a decision to terminate that life,” the pope writes in his latest apostolic exhortation, “which is an end in itself and which can never be considered the ‘property’ of another human being.” Francis also expresses support for adoption and opposition to euthanasia and population control.
However, critics have suggested that inviting Sanders to speak at the April 15 conference, hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences on April 15, is inappropriate given the Vermont senator’s support for abortion at any stage of pregnancy at taxpayer expense.
Sanders called it a “a source of real pride and excitement” that he has been given such a prestigious platform from which to discuss his views “on how we can create a world economy that is moral,” though he noted that “there are areas where we disagree on women’s rights.”
Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy, has confirmed that he is the one who extended the invitation, explaining that “because we have two presidents coming from Latin America, I thought it would be good to have an authoritative voice from North America.” He maintained that the invite “does not signify any support of the campaign.”