“There won’t be a meeting with the Holy Father,” Father Federico Lombardi said, according to the New York Times.
Sanders will be talking at a conference organized by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, and he has expressed interest in talking to the Pope in the days leading up to the trip.
“It’s something I would be very proud to see happen,” Sanders said to The Washington Post.
“I believe that the pope has been an inspirational figure in raising public consciousness about the kind of income and wealth inequality we are seeing all over this world.”
The meeting with the Pope has been a long-shot for Sanders; the conference is not a “high-level” meeting, but Pope Francis is unpredictable and has weighed in on international politics before, as he did when he commented on Donald Trump’s proposal to build a wall.
“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” Francis said.
The timing of the trip has garnered a lot of criticism and unease, even among Sanders supporters.
Sanders is taking a brief hiatus from the campaign trail, traveling to Vatican City on April 15, four days ahead of the important New York primary.