Pope Francis has turned down an invitation to attend a high-profile Clinton Foundation event in New York City. The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Foundation invited the Pope to its glamorous Clinton Global Initiative event. The Pope said he would not attend, according to The Hill on Saturday.
Obviously, the Foundation has been tremendously embroiled in a number of controversies surrounding its alleged fundraising activities. Earlier this year, it was discovered that only a measly 15 percent of donations being made to the Clinton Foundation have actually been given to charities. The other 85 percent went to undefined costs – the largest cost’s category being simply labeled ‘other expenses.’
Likely due to the controversies surrounding the Clinton Foundation and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton this year, other notables besides Pope Francis have declined invitations to appear at the Foundation’s event. Elton John, a British music legend, was to be awarded for his work to combat AIDS. He has refused the invitation. Others who are not accepting their invitations are Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen. Famed French economist Thomas Piketty was asked to deliver a presentation on income inequality. However, he said he would not attend while asserting that his not necessarily being a Clinton fan did not influence his decision to reject the invitation. According to the report, there were a number of other persons who said they will not be in attendance. It could very well be that the many persons who have snubbed the Clinton Foundation’s request believe that appearing at the event would be an endorsement of Hillary Clinton for her presidential bid. They are apparently not wanting to give anyone that impression.
Additionally, the controversies surrounding the Foundation have caused Hillary Clinton to remove herself from the organization’s board. Her connection to the scrutinized and highly-criticized organization was allegedly not doing her presidential campaign any favors due to the scandals within the organization. Some of the ongoing scandals involve the Foundation’s acceptance of donations from foreign lands. Naturally, there is the legitimate fear that Hillary Clinton, should she become president, would have many favors owed to foreign donors as president. In recent days, disturbingly, it has been learned that some of her former secretary of state aides had their hands in the Foundation one way or another while working for the United States government as well.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis concluded his first visit to the United States on Sunday with a gesture of reconciliation. He met with victims of child sexual abuse, according to Yahoo! News. During the event, he promised to hold those responsible for the scandal in the church accountable. It served as a powerful warning to American bishops accused of covering up for pedophile priests by not reporting them to authorities.