Bernie Sanders is Wrong: Pope Francis is No Socialist

Millennial at NCR Week

In the second Millennial at Distinctly Catholic post, Christopher Hale writes:

In short, Francis isn’t a socialist, capitalist, or any other political or economic label, but a radical Christian who takes Jesus Christ’s command to exclude no one and put the poor first seriously. With that being said, there is room for some measure of socialism within the Christian worldview.

Ironically, Benedict XVI — wrongly mischaracterized as a hardline conservative — made the best defense of Sanders’ democratic socialism in a 2006 essay for First Things. In it, Benedict argues that democratic socialism provided a third alternative to the radical left-wing and right-wing political movements that dominated Europe in the 20th century.

“In many respects,” Benedict argues, “Democratic socialism was and is close to Catholic social doctrine and has in any case made a remarkable contribution to the formation of a social consciousness.”

Of course, socialism isn’t without its limitations. There are strands of socialism, particularly in Europe, that too often value the collective good of society over the well-being of individual persons. In the Christian worldview, those are false dichotomies. We value both the individual person and society. In short, we’re called to care for each person and all persons.

You can read the full article here.

The Message I Delivered to Bernie and Hillary

At last week’s Democratic Party presidential debate in Milwaukee between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, I tried my best to represent the Catholic community and our most fundamental values.

While there, I had the privilege to talk to both candidates about the issues that are at the heart of Pope Francis’ agenda and that should truly matter to Catholic voters in the United States.​

Inspired by the words of Cardinal Hummes to Pope Francis upon his election, I told both Hillary and Bernie that if either becomes President of the United States, they mustn’t forget about the excluded and they must put the needs of the poor first in their public service. This preferential option for the poor and vulnerable, which is rooted in our commitment to the common good and solidarity with all people, is what our faith is all about. Catholics are called to be a voice for those who are excluded and ignored, those cast aside by a culture of indifference. When given the opportunity to express these views, I did my best to share this message.

I’ll be bringing the same message to the Republican candidates ​at a GOP debate next month. I encourage Catholics from both parties and those who are independent to join me in lifting up these values. All candidates for public office should know: Catholics care about the poor and vulnerable, and we expect the same from those elected to public office.PicMonkey Collage