This week Senator Bernie Sanders received an invitation that he could “simply not refuse” and took a 40 hour trip to Rome. Sanders only got a five minute meeting with Pope Francis, due to prior obligations. He also received a handwritten note from Pope Francis expressing his apologies.
Though possibly the most secular candidate in the election, Sanders is a long time fanboy and admirer of what Pope Francis has to say. Both the Senator and Pontiff have spoken for years about economic morality.
“We need to create a culture which, as Pope Francis reminds us, cannot just be based on the worship of money. We cannot accept a nation in which billionaires compete as to the size of their super-yachts, while children in America go hungry and veterans sleep out in the streets,” Sanders said Friday at the Vatican. “Let us not forget what Pope Francis has so elegantly stated: ‘We have created new idols. The worship of the golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an old economy which is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal.”
Sanders has been speaking publicly about his alignment with Pope Francis and his economic views since early 2015. Sanders might be considered “extreme” economically, but so is the Pontiff. Terry Bouricius, former member of Vermont’s House of Representatives, explained Sanders’ draw to the Vatican’s message of economic equality.
“Bernie has always expressed it both privately and publicly in the same framework of: It’s simply immoral to have some people not house and feed their children while some people live in the lap of luxury.”
The Holy Father has not openly endorsed the Sanders campaign. While they might agree on economic morality, part of the Sanders campaign has some definite contrast with the catechism. Sanders is not Catholic, nor a catholic theologian. He is though, receptive and appreciative of the Vatican and its platform against the immorality of inequality.
Featured Image by Elisabetta Villa/Getty Images