The Jerusalem Post

Bernie Sanders stops by Vatican to take economic message global

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,” says Sanders

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US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks with media and supporters during his visit to the Vatican , April 15, 2016. . (photo credit:REUTERS)

VATICAN CITY  – Bernie Sanders denounced capitalist excess, called for a global “moral economy” and praised Pope Francis’ leadership in a speech here.

The Jewish senator spoke for 10 minutes Friday at the Roman Catholic Church’s Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences just hours after making some similar points in a testy Democratic presidential debate in New York ahead of the state’s Tuesday primary.

The Vatican conference marked the 25th anniversary of Centesimus Annus, an encyclical on the economy and social justice after the fall of communism promulgated by the late Pope John Paul II.

“Twenty-five years after Centesimus Annus, speculation, illicit financial flows, environmental destruction and the weakening of the rights of workers is far more severe than it was a quarter century ago,” said Sanders, an Independent from Vermont. “Financial excesses, indeed widespread financial criminality on Wall Street, played a direct role in causing the world’s worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.”

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,” he said.

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