Bernie Sanders Brings His Populist Crusade to the Vatican

Centesimus Angelus Annus 25 Years Later Symposium
Rome is Berning. Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

In less than 12 hours, Bernie Sanders went from debating Hillary Clinton in Brooklyn to addressing a bunch of cardinals in Vatican City. This was after several days of strenuous campaigning and 74 years of relentless living. Whatever else you want to say about Sanders, you have to admit: This septuagenarian’s got stamina.

At the Vatican, Sanders delivered his signature critique of free-market capitalism, albeit with a bit less emphasis on Labor Department statistics and bit more weight on the moral necessity of redistribution.

At a time when so few have so much, and so many have so little, we must reject the foundations of this contemporary economy as immoral and unsustainable,” Sanders told the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, according to The Guardian. “Speculation, illicit financial flows, environmental destruction, and the weakening of the rights of workers is far more severe than it was a quarter century ago.”

Sanders praised the Roman Catholic Church’s doctrines on economics, saying, “There are few places in modern thought that rival the depth and insight of the church’s moral teachings on the market economy.”

The Vermont senator also had kind words for his father from another faith Pope Francis, saying he was “extremely impressed” with Francis’s “visionary views about creating a moral economy.” Unfortunately, prospects for a Sanders/Francis unity ticket don’t look good — His Holiness did not find time to meet with the senator.

Some of Sanders’s allies have questioned his decision to leave New York just days ahead of the state’s primary vote. But, considering the consensus of the current polls and Sanders’s past difficulty in states with closed primaries, the democratic socialist is almost certainly taking the silver medal Tuesday night either way. How many more invitations to the Vatican is an elderly Jew from Vermont gonna get?

Sanders Brings His Crusade to the Vatican