Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is a big fan of Pope Francis, whom he considers to be a socialist.
In an interview with the Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation, published Tuesday, Sanders said the current pope “has come along in history at exactly the right moment.”
The Vermont senator said he believed the pope was on the right side of the issue of income inequality, the core of Sanders’ populist campaign.
“He has … brought up the issue of the worship of money — the idolatry of money — and say, ‘Maybe that’s not what human life should be about,'” Sanders told Salt and Light in the interview, which was taped in September days before the pope visited Congress.
He added: “And that is a very, very radical critique of the hyper-capitalist world system we’re living in today.”
Sanders was then asked whether he thought the pope was a socialist. Sanders, who famously identifies as a democratic socialist, responded with conviction that the pope had the same mindset.
“What it means to be a socialist in the sense of what I’m talking about and what the pope’s talking about is that we have 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 said.
“No, he does not believe in trickle-down economic theory,” he added. “That is a direct critique of conservative politics. And of course he’s going to be attacked for that.”
Pope Francis has been in the American political discussion recently, after he had a back-and-forth of sorts with Republican frontrunner Donald Trump last week.
The pope suggested that Trump “is not a Christian” during a six-day visit to Mexico.
“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” the pope said after his six-day visit to Mexico, according to The New York Times.
Trump responded by saying it was “disgraceful” for a religious leader to question his faith, and that the pope would have only “wished and prayed” that he was president “if and when” the Vatican is attacked by the Islamic State terror group.
Watch Sanders’ interview with Salt and Light below:
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