WelCom February 2021
Pope Francis sent a message to President Joe Biden urging him to be a bringer of peace and reconciliation to the United States and to the whole world.
In a message sent shortly after the second Catholic US president was sworn in on 20 January as the 46th US president, Pope Francis said he was praying that God would guide his efforts to build a more just and caring society.
‘At a time when the grave crises facing our human family call for farsighted and united responses’, Pope Francis writes in his message, ‘I pray that your decisions will be guided by a concern for building a society marked by authentic justice and freedom, together with unfailing respect for the rights and dignity of every person, especially the poor, the vulnerable and those who have no voice’.
‘Under your leadership, may the American people continue to draw strength from the lofty political, ethical and religious values that have inspired the nation since its founding,’ Pope Francis said.
‘I likewise ask God, the source of all wisdom and truth, to guide your efforts to foster understanding, reconciliation and peace within the United States and among the nations of the world in order to advance the universal common good,’ he said.
Three days after the 6 January attack, on the US Congress by supporters of former president Donald Trump, Pope Francis said the violence had left him ‘astonished’.
In his message to President Biden, the Pope said the ‘grave crises facing our human family call for farsighted and united responses’.
Meanwhile the president of the US Catholic Bishops Conference, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez, served notice that the bishops will continue to fight Biden over his position on several moral issues, mainly abortion.
President Biden, like many other Catholic politicians, has said he is personally against abortion but cannot impose his position on others.
Archbishop Gomez praised Biden for what he called the new president’s ‘moving witness’ on how his faith brought him solace in times of tragedy and his commitment to the poor but said bishops had to proclaim all the truth of the Gospel.
‘So, I must point out that our new president has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender,’ Gomez said.
In a move that underscored the deep divisions among US bishops on how to approach the new administration, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago said Gomez’s statement was “ill-considered” and that many bishops had not been consulted.
Sources: Reuters, Vatican News