Pope Francis says his meeting with Bernie Sanders, contesting the Democratic candidacy for the US Presidency, was not meddling in politics and anyone who thought otherwise should "look for a psychiatrist".
Sanders and the Pope met briefly on Saturday (local time) at the Vatican guest house where Francis lives and where Sanders spent the night after addressing a Vatican conference on social justice.
"When I came down, I greeted him, I shook his hand and nothing more. This is called good manners and it is not getting involved in politics," the Pope told reporters in answer to a question aboard the plane returning from the Greek island of Lesbos, where he visited a refugee camp.
"If anyone thinks that greeting someone is getting involved in politics, I recommend that he look for a psychiatrist," he said, laughing.