Sanders: My Views And The Pope’s Are ‘Very Much Related’

REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

Ron Brynaert Freelance Reporter
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Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is going to take a break from campaigning in New York to go to Rome to give a speech at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, upon invitation from the Vatican. But even though Pope Francis is against abortion, euthanasia and same-sex marriage, the Democratic presidential candidate maintains that they share many of the same views.

In an interview with The Washington Post Friday, Sanders claimed, “I think the Vatican has been aware of the fact that, in many respects, the pope’s views and my views are very much related.”

“He has talked in an almost unprecedented way about the need to address income and wealth inequality, poverty and to combat the greed that we’re seeing all over this world, which is doing so much harm to so many people. … For me, it is an extraordinary honor to receive this invitation,” Sanders added.

However, Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia calls abortion “a horrendous contradiction when it becomes a place where life is rejected and destroyed.”

Sanders “has a lifetime pro-choice record.” Both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sanders have received perfect scores from NARAL regarding a woman’s right to choose.

“The family protects human life in all its stages, including its last,” Pope Francis wrote. “Consequently, ‘those who work in healthcare facilities are reminded of the moral duty of conscientious objection. Similarly, the Church not only feels the urgency to assert the right to a natural death, without aggressive treatment and euthanasia’.”

Regarding euthanasia, Sanders has said, “But you know, I think if a human being is in a situation where they are going to see their life end in a short period of time, where they are suffering, where they choose no longer to be alive. I think they have the right to make that decision for themselves.”

Clinton backs states rights on euthanasia, saying, “with appropriate safeguards and informed decision-making, I think it’s an appropriate right to have.”

“We need to acknowledge the great variety of family situations that can offer a certain stability, but de facto or same-sex unions, for example, may not simply be equated with marriage,” Pope Francis states. “No union that is temporary or closed to the transmission of life can ensure the future of society.”

As Time reported, “While Sanders generally opposed measures to ban gay marriage, he did not speak out in favor of it until 2009.”

“That’s still ahead of Clinton, who released a YouTube video announcing her support in 2013, as well as most other Democratic Senators, but not as early as he’s now casting it,” the article added.

Sanders acknowledged the disagreement on social issues in an MSNBC “Morning Joe” interview. “Obviously there are areas where we disagree — on women’s rights or gay rights, but he has played an unbelievable role, an unbelievable role of injecting a moral consequence into the economy,” he said.