Sanders Loves Pope's Mention of 'Radical' Activist
He like pontiff's praise of Dorothy Day
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2015 2:36 PM CDT
Sen. Bernie Sanders listens to Pope Francis' address before a joint meeting of Congress today in DC.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – Pope Francis made a historic appearance before Congress today, and one person especially pleased with his speech was Bernie Sanders. The Vermont senator tells CNN he loved the reference to Dorothy Day, a "radical Catholic activist," per the Washington Post, who founded the Catholic Worker Movement and fought for the rights of the downtrodden. Day "was a very, very progressive … socialist who organized working people and the poor to stand up to the wealthy and the powerful and to fight for social justice," Sanders said to CNN. He added to the Post: "I think it was extraordinary that he cited her as one of the most important people in recent American history. This would be one of the very, very few times that somebody as radical as Dorothy Day was mentioned."

Sanders also acknowledged, per CNN, that Francis likely "touched on some very, very important issues that a lot of people would prefer not to talk about," but he adds the pope approached them in a "very dignified, non-partisan type way." Someone from the other side of the political spectrum is gushing about the pontiff's speech, too, but for different reasons. Ted Cruz told reporters after Francis' appearance that the pope offered a "powerful voice for life at a time when life is profoundly threatened in America," reports Bloomberg (Cruz was speaking specifically about religious liberty, traditional marriage, and abortion). "It was striking, and heartbreaking, to see so many congressional Democrats sitting stone-faced, arms crossed, when the pope urged us all to defend human life," he said. (At least none of them threw a shoe at the pope.)