Just as we move past Pope Francis’s epic feud with Donald Trump, a Democrat is dragging the pontiff back into the U.S. presidential race. In a newly released interview with Reverend Thomas Rosica of the Canadian Catholic network Salt and Light, Bernie Sanders says the accusations that Pope Francis is a socialist are all true. “Well, 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,” he explains.
Sanders, who recorded the interview back in September, goes on to note that the pope “does not believe in trickle down economic theory,” or that “if we give more tax breaks to the rich, we deregulate Wall Street, we deregulate industry, that somehow all of the benefits of that deregulation will filter on down to ordinary people.”
That sounds like another case of politicians imposing their views on the pontiff, but he actually criticized the conservative economic theory by name back in 2013. “Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories, which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world,” Francis wrote. “This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”
Pope Francis has also declared “the Marxist ideology is wrong,” palled around with marriage-equality foe Kim Davis, and rejected claims that he is “left-leaning,” saying, “I am certain that I have never said anything beyond what is in the social doctrine of the church.” It’s like he thinks he’s too holy to simply conform to one of the major U.S. political ideologies.