As Pope Francis arrived in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) praised the pontiff’s focus on income inequality and climate change, calling the Catholic leader “courageous.”
“He is dealing with issues that very few people in Congress are prepared to deal with. He is talking about the morality of whether so few should have so much and so many should have so little,” Sanders told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Tuesday evening.
Sanders noted that he does not agree with with the pope on every issue, but applauded his focus on the poor.
“Obviously, I disagree with the Pope on a woman’s right to choose, and I disagree with the Pope on issues of gay marriage,” he said. “And our Republican friends kind of gravitate to him on those issues. But I think the fundamental critique he is making of the hyper-capitalist society that we are seeing globally is something that is striking a strong resonance in the hearts of many of the progressive members of the Congress, and we applaud him very much.”
Hayes asked Sanders if Pope Francis has had an impact on the world’s discussion about climate change.
“It is hugely important,” Sanders responded. “It is helping us significantly turn the tide. When you have the leader of the Catholic Church telling us that we cannot continue to destroy God’s planet, and that we have got to move in an aggressive way to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel. That is a profound statement which I see already having a significant impact on the debate.”
Watch Hayes’ interview with Sanders via MSNBC: