If the pope could endorse a candidate, he'd pick Bernie Sanders

It's doubtful that Pope Francis would endorse Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or any American politician linked to controversial statements and scandal. The 266th head of the Roman Catholic Church has done a great deal to correlate the beliefs of his faith with today's turbulent political world. Economic and social justice are hallmarks of this pope's view of politics, and unlike the GOP and establishment Democrats, Francis doesn't cater to the notion that "wealth creators" also create happiness. As a result, his condemnation of greed and corruption speaks volumes, and the following quotes from Francis illustrate that he'd be in favor of curbing Wall Street excesses:


The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose. The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the economy lays bare their imbalances and, above all, their lack of real concern for human beings; man is reduced to one of his needs alone: consumption.

As for trickle-down economics, Francis says the following:

[S]ome 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. 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.

Therefore, it's safe to say that the current pope is not a Reagan Republican, nor does he view free-market capitalism as bringing justice to mankind.

Similarly, Vermont Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersIdentity politics and the race for the Democratic nomination 2020 Democrats barnstorm the country for MLK weekend Bill Maher defends Bernie Sanders campaign over sexual harassment allegations MORE espouses the same philosophy and even quotes Pope Francis on his website:

Today, we live in the richest country in the history of the world, but that reality means little because much of that wealth is controlled by a tiny handful of individuals.

The issue of wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time, and it is the great political issue of our time.

America now has more wealth and income inequality than any major developed country on earth, and the gap between the very rich and everyone else is wider than at any time since the 1920s.

A bit later, he quotes the pope:

'Just as the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say "thou shalt not" to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?' — Pope Francis

In addition to his own views on wealth inequality, Sanders also quotes Francis. How many American politicians, Democrat or Republican, use a quote from the pope on their website?

In several ways, both men are similar. Sanders says things about poverty and greed in the United States that most American politicians refuse to admit. Francis has worked hard to illustrate that religious principles can correlate directly to morality and a more equitable society. Both of them abhor the concentration of wealth by a tiny percentage at the top of the social and economic hierarchy.

In terms of naysayers, both Sanders and Francis have the same critics. When the world's most recognizable religious figure and a Democratic candidate for president both battle the ideology of Republicans, it's obvious that the GOP isn't focused on the moral precepts placing individuals above aggregate economic figures.

In addition, Sanders is battling a challenger described by a Politico headline as "Wall St. Republicans' Dark Secret," so even within the Democratic Party, social and economic justice aren't championed by everyone.

If he could, Pope Francis would endorse Bernie Sanders for president. I don't mean to speak on behalf of the world's most recognizable religious leader, but when you compare the political philosophy of both Sanders and Francis, theres only one conclusion: Sanders best fits his view of the world.

Goodman is an author and a journalist.