“Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse.” Proverbs 1:14 (The Israel Bible™)
After frontrunner Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called Pope Francis “disgraceful” for suggesting Trump was “not a Christian” because he wants to build a wall along the Mexican border, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders indicated in an interview with a Catholic reverend that Pope Francis is, in effect, a socialist, just like himself.
Speaking in a “Witness” interview broadcast Tuesday evening with Rev. Thomas Rosica of the Toronto-based Catholic network Salt and Light, Sanders said, “What it means to be a socialist, in the sense of what the pope is talking about, what I’m talking about, is to say that we have got to do our best and live our lives in a way that alleviates human suffering, that does not accelerate the disparities of income and wealth.”
“When [the pope] talks about wealth being used to serve people, not as an end in itself, I agree with that,” Sanders gave an example.
Sanders attacked the “massive income wealth inequality” around the world, suggesting that for the rich greed has become “their own religion, and they make no apologies for it.” In that context, too, he praised Pope Francis for attacking the “idolatry of money” and his “very, very radical critique of the hypercapitalist system.”
The program’s website quickly poured on paragraphs of qualification, insisting that “the views expressed by Senator Sanders … are his own and do not reflect the views of Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation nor its related Television Network. Salt and Light does not endorse Senator Sanders or any other Democrat, Republican or Independent US presidential candidate. We are aware that certain views held by Senator Sanders oppose the moral teachings of the Catholic Church. As a Catholic media foundation, Salt and Light does not share these views, denounces his positions as such, but recognizes the Senator’s right to hold them.”
According to Religion News Service, Pope Francis has stated that Marxism is wrong, even though, as he put it (more or less), “Many of my friends are Marxists.” He rejected the criticism from the right that he is a communist or left-winger. “I am certain I have never said anything more than what is in the social doctrine of the church,” he told reporters last September. “I follow the church and in this I do not think I am wrong. Maybe I have given an impression of being a little bit to the left, but if they want me to recite the creed [which starts with, ‘I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth], I can!”