Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has landed in Rome to attend a Vatican conference steeped in his lifelong passions of economic and social justice.
The Vermont senator is making the trip even while he faces a crucial New York primary against rival Hillary Clinton next week.
The self-described democratic socialist is an admirer of Pope Francis and will join several speakers commemorating the 25th anniversary of "Centesimus Annus," a high-level teaching document by Pope John Paul II on the economy and social justice at the end of the Cold War.
The roughly 24-hour break from the campaign comes just five days before the New York primary.
Sanders is joined by his wife, Jane Sanders, and 10 family members, including four grandchildren.