Fact Check

Pope Francis Endorses Bernie Sanders for President

The pontifical Academy of Social Sciences invited Bernie Sanders to a conference at the Vatican, but he hasn't publicly endorsed Sanders for president.

Published Oct. 26, 2015

Pope Francis has endorsed Bernie Sanders for President.

On 26 October 2015 the web site National Report (and its shill site USAToday.com.co) published an article reporting that Pope Francis had endorsed Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders in the U.S. presidential race:

In a final speech to the synod, Pope Francis endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders for President of the United States, while taking some clear swipes at conservatives who hold up church doctrine above all else, and use it to cast judgment on others.

"The synod experience also made us better realize that the true defenders are not those who uphold its letter, but its spirit; not ideas but people; not formulas but free availability of God’s love and forgiveness," Pope Francis said. “I see in Senator Bernard Sanders a man of great integrity and moral conviction, who understands these principles and genuinely wants what’s best for all people."

Although the Sanders campaign announced in April 2016 that the Democratic hopeful had accepted an invitation to travel to the Vatican to attend a conference on social, economic and environmental issues, there is no truth to the report that His Holiness has publicly endorsed Sanders for president. The National Report is a fake news site, as is USAToday.com.co, the shill site the National Report uses to attempt to lend credibility to National Report's fake, clickbaiting stories by reposting them to a domain mimicking that of the legitimate USA Today news outlet.

National Report has spread fabricated stories reporting that Michigan was taking in thousands of Syrian refugees, that FEMA's first "camp" had opened in Arizona, that the band R.E.M. sued Donald Trump, that President Obama was awarded a second Nobel Peace Prize, and that a Christian pastor was jailed for refusing to officiate a same-sex wedding.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.