Bernie Sanders took his message of economic fairness to the heart of the Catholic Church on Friday, telling a Vatican conference that income inequality is “the great moral issue of our time” while praising Pope Francis for his teachings on the issue.
“I am just so excited to be here, so proud to be here, with other like-minded people who are trying to do our best to create a moral economy,” Sanders told reporters outside the Vatican.
The Democratic presidential hopeful addressed a conference honoring the 25th anniversary of St. John Paul II’s encyclical "Centesimus Annus," which focused on wealth and standards of living after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
“The issue of wealth and income inequality is the great economic issue of our time, the great political issue of our time, and the great moral issue of our time,” Sanders told the conference. “It is an issue that we must confront in my nation and across the world.”
Wealth inequality has been the cornerstone of Sanders’ campaign.
His visit to Rome will last about 24 hours and comes just five days before the New York primary, where polls show him trailing Hillary Clinton.