A few years ago ago, a pope profusely praised democratic socialism, calling the political platform a close fit with the Catholic Church’s social agenda.
That Pope was Benedict XVI, a man known for his forceful defense of Catholic orthodoxy.
The point is, even conservative popes pushed liberal economic policies long before Francis arrived in Rome. But few have captured the media’s attention like the Argentine Jesuit.
Count Bernie Sanders among Francis’ hallelujah choir. The Vermont senator, an avowed democratic socialist, has repeatedly praised the Pope, calling his outspoken critique of capitalism and defense of the environment a gift from You Know Who.
“I think that the Pope is playing an historical role coming at exactly the right moment in human history, where his voice is having a profound impact, not only on our country, but all over the world,” Sanders told Salt and Light, a Canadian Catholic media ministry.
The Pope and Sanders don’t agree on everything, abortion and same-sex marriage being among the biggest points of conflict. But on economic and environmental issues at least, the Catholic prelate and secular Jewish senator sometimes sound like long, lost soulmates. Take a look below, for instance, and see if you can tell which man uttered the quote in question.
“The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose.”
“The Bible speaks to this issue: We are living in a nation and a world which worships not love of brothers and sisters, not love of the poor and the sick, but worships the acquisition of money and great wealth.”
“This system is by now intolerable: Farmers find it intolerable, laborers find it intolerable, communities find it intolerable, people find it intolerable.”
“We live in a country today that has an economy that is rigged, a campaign finance system which is corrupt and a criminal justice system which, too often, does not dispense justice.”
“That’s the main point I was trying to make, that morality is more than just your view on abortions or gay rights.”
“The future of humanity does not lie solely in the hands of great leaders, the great powers and the elites. It is fundamentally in the hands of peoples and in their ability to organize.”
"If we cannot control billionaires' power to buy elections, the people elected to office will be responsive to the needs of the rich and powerful, rather than the needs of everyone else."
"Climate change is the single greatest threat facing our planet."
"A nation will not survive morally or economically when so few have so much and so many have so little."
“One of the greatest scourges for young people is the lack of opportunities for study and for sustainable and profitable work.”
“…the guiding light for me in terms of immigration reform … is to bring families together, not divide them up.”
“We have to take a hard look at consumerism in America, which says that the goal of life is just buying and buying and buying.”
“If in so many parts of the world there are children who have nothing to eat, that's not news, it seems normal. It cannot be this way!”
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