Bernie Sanders: Pope Francis is a socialist

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Bernie Sanders Is Claiming Pope Francis As A Socialist

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is a big fan of Pope Francis, whom he considers to be a socialist.

SEE ALSO: 'Disgraceful': Donald Trump blasts Pope Francis for taking a shot at his faith

In an interview with the Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation, published Tuesday, Sanders said the current pope "has come along in history at exactly the right moment."

The Vermont senator said he believed the pope was on the right side of the issue of income inequality, the core of Sanders' populist campaign.

"He has ... brought up the issue of the worship of money -- the idolatry of money -- and say, 'Maybe that's not what human life should be about,'" Sanders told Salt and Light in the interview, which was taped in September days before the pope visited Congress.

He added: "And that is a very, very radical critique of the hyper-capitalist world system we're living in today."

Sanders was then asked whether he thought the pope was a socialist. Sanders, who famously identifies as a democratic socialist, responded with conviction that the pope had the same mindset.

See Sanders on the campaign trail:

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Bernie Sanders: Pope Francis is a socialist
CONCORD, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) walks through downtown Concord on election day on February 9, 2016 in Concord, New Hampshire. Sanders, who is expected to win over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, greeted voters before taking a short walk where he was mobbed by members of the media. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
CONCORD, NH - FEBRUARY 09: A supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders waits for his arrival into downtown Concord on Primary Day on February 9, 2016 in Concord, New Hampshire. Sanders, who is expected to win over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, greeted voters before taking a short walk where he was mobbed by members of the media. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Supporters of US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders arrive for primary night rally in Concord, New Hampshire, on February 9, 2016. / AFP / Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
CONCORD, NH - FEBRUARY 09: A Bernie Sanders supporter waits for the Democratic presidential candidate's New Hampshire Primary Night watch party to begin February 9, 2016 in Concord, New Hampshire. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Supporters of US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders cheer watching the result on television as they arrive for primary night rally in Concord, New Hampshire, on February 9, 2016. / AFP / Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
A supporter of US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders arrives for primary night rally in Concord, New Hampshire, on February 9, 2016. / AFP / JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
CONCORD, NH - FEBRUARY 09: People cheer polling results at a primary-night watch party for Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) on February 9, 2016 in Concord, New Hampshire. Sanders was projected Democratic winner shortly after the polls closed. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
CONCORD, NH - FEBRUARY 09: People cheer polling results at a primary-night watch party for Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) on February 9, 2016 in Concord, New Hampshire. Sanders was projected Democratic winner shortly after the polls closed. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
CONCORD, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) speaks onstage after the New Hampshire primary February 9, 2016 in Concord, New Hampshire. Sanders was projected Democratic winner shortly after the polls closed. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
CONCORD, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane O'Meara (L) greets supporters after winning the New Hampshire Democratic Primary February 9, 2016 in Concord, New Hampshire. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
CONCORD, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders greets supporters after winning the New Hampshire Democratic Primary February 9, 2016 in Concord, New Hampshire. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
CONCORD, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) is kissed on the cheek by his wife Jane O'Meara Sanders after winning the New Hampshire primary February 9, 2016 in Concord, New Hampshire. Sanders defeated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the first in the nation primary. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
CONCORD, NH - FEBRUARY 09: A Bernie Sanders supporter waits for the Democratic presidential candidate's New Hampshire Primary Night watch party to begin February 9, 2016 in Concord, New Hampshire. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
CONCORD, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) addresses supporters after winning the New Hampshire Democratic Primary February 9, 2016 in Concord, New Hampshire. Sanders defeated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the first-in-the-nation primary. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
CONCORD, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) supporters watch election returns of the Democratic New Hampshire primary at a primary night watch party February 9, 2016 in Concord, New Hampshire. Sanders won the first-in-the-nation primary, defeating rival Hillary Clinton. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, smiles while speaking during a primary watch party at Concord High School in Concord, New Hampshire, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire Democratic Primary, while real estate mogul Donald Trump was projected to win in the crowded Republican field with the final finishing order yet to be settled. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks during a primary watch party at Concord High School in Concord, New Hampshire, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire Democratic Primary, while real estate mogul Donald Trump was projected to win in the crowded Republican field with the final finishing order yet to be settled. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE-FEBRUARY 9 : Bernie Sanders is thrilled as he greets his supporters at Concord HS after winning NH. (Photo by Lucian Perkins /for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE-FEBRUARY 9 : Bernie Sanders supporters yell in excitement as they spot him coming to visit the Ward Five Polling Place at the Green Street Community Center in Concord, New Hampshire. (Photo by Lucian Perkins /for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
A supporter of US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders takes pictures as she arrives for primary night rally in Concord, New Hampshire, on February 9, 2016. / AFP / JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during the primary night rally in Concord, New Hampshire, on February 9, 2016. Self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders and political novice Donald Trump won New Hampshire's presidential primaries Tuesday, US media projected, turning the American political establishment on its head early in the long nominations battle. / AFP / Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Volunteer Tyrell Cooper waits for the arrival of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., ahead of an primary night watch party at Concord High School, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a primary night rally at Concord High School, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
The Rev. Al Sharpton walks with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and his wife Jane as they arrive for a breakfast meeting at Sylvia's Restaurant, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. Sanders defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday in the New Hampshire primary. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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"What it means to be a socialist in the sense of what I'm talking about and what the pope's talking about is that we have to do our best and live our lives in a way that alleviates human suffering, that does not accelerate the disparities of income and wealth," he said.

"No, he does not believe in trickle-down economic theory," he added. "That is a direct critique of conservative politics. And of course he's going to be attacked for that."

Pope Francis has been in the American political discussion recently, after he had a back-and-forth of sorts with Republican frontrunner Donald Trump last week.

The pope suggested that Trump "is not a Christian" during a six-day visit to Mexico.

Celebrities who endorse Sanders:

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Celebrities who endorse Bernie Sanders
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Killer Mike of Run the Jewels 

The rapper has been very vocal within the hip-hop community about his endorsement of Sanders, and even introduced him at an Atlanta rally. 

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Danny DeVito 

In August 2015, the 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' actor took to Twitter, saying, "Bernie Sanders...you're our only hope Obi-Wan Kenobi". 

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Mark Ruffalo

Ruffalo used Twitter to share his political stance on January 17th of this year, saying, "@BernieSanders is preferred 2-1 by young people because they know his means what he says."

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Susan Sarandon 

In June of last year, Sarandon posted a video titled 'Flashback: Rep. Bernie Sanders Opposes Iraq War' along with the caption "We need a leader who is courageous and levelheaded in times of crisis:Bernie Sanders ‪#‎Bernie2016‬.

The liberal activist has since been seen campaigning for Sanders in Portland, Maine and introducing him on the campaign trail. 

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Belinda Carlisle

Back in August of last year, the lead singer of The Go-Go's tweeted, "yes, I switched teams...my candidate!" above an announcement that Bernie Sanders would be joining CNN's State of the Union. 

Ever since then she has been an avid supporter on social media. 

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Justin Long 

The 'Dodgeball' actor introduced Bernie Sanders at a campaign event in Des Moines shortly before the Iowa Caucus. 

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Sarah Silverman 

Sarah Silverman was among other celebs who headlined a fundraiser for the presidential candidate at Hollywood’s Laugh Factory on January 26th. 

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George Lopez 

After tweeting "WATCHA I Am #feelingthebern. Today I'm proud to officially endorse @BernieSanders for President" late last year, the actor has made headlining appearances at Sanders' fundraising events. 

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Spike Lee 

After citing his endorsement on a radio show recently, he elaborated on his commitment to Sanders, saying: “Bernie was at the March on Washington with Dr. King. He was arrested in Chicago for protesting segregation in public schools. He fought for wealth and education equality throughout his whole career. No flipping, no flopping. Enough talk. Time for action.”

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"A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian," the pope said after his six-day visit to Mexico, according to The New York Times.

Trump responded by saying it was "disgraceful" for a religious leader to question his faith, and that the pope would have only "wished and prayed" that he was president "if and when" the Vatican is attacked by the Islamic State terror group.

Trump later downplayed his comments, although he did receive the support of various Christian leaders in the US. The Vatican also suggested that the pope's comments were being misinterpreted.

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