Bernie Sanders has been invited to the Vatican by Pope Francis, his campaign announced.
The Vermont senator and Democratic presidential hopeful, who is Jewish, accepted an invitation to Rome for a conference at the end of next week.
Bernie Sanders’ visit to the Vatican is four days before the primary contest in New York, a competitive battle between him and front-runner Hillary Clinton.
The Democratic presidential hopeful said he was not sure whether he would meet Pope Francis but he was a big fan of the pontiff.
Bernie Sanders said they share the same views on inequality: “He’s trying to inject this sense of morality into how we do economics… and we need that absolutely desperately.”
He will attend a conference on social, economic and environmental issues and give a speech on April 15, his campaign said.
Bernie Sanders and Pope Francis have similar views on fighting income inequality and he was “very moved” by the invitation from the Vatican.
He said he and the pope disagree on women’s rights and gay rights, but Pope Francis has “injected a moral consequence into the economy”.
Bernie Sanders is trailing Hillary Clinton but gaining momentum after a string of wins, most recently in the Wisconsin primary.
In the last few days, a mostly civil fight between the two became more personal as Bernie Sanders accused Hillary Clinton of not being “qualified” to be president.
Pope Francis said on April 8 that the Catholic Church should be less strict and show more compassion to “imperfect” Catholics.
The pontiff called on the Church to be welcoming to gay Catholics but did not change the Church’s views on LGBT families and marriage.