The conversation between Pope Francis and President-elect Biden followed greetings from the American Bishops, which came in a message from the president of the USCCB, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, who congratulated Biden as the second Catholic president, after John F. Kennedy.
“We thank God for the blessings of liberty,” Archbishop Gomez wrote in his letter. “The American people have spoken in this election. Now is the time for our leaders to come together in a spirit of national unity and to commit themselves to dialogue and compromise for the common good.”
He added, “As Catholics and Americans, our priorities and mission are clear. We are here to follow Jesus Christ, to bear witness to His love in our lives, and to build His Kingdom on earth. I believe that at this moment in American history, Catholics have a special duty to be peacemakers, to promote fraternity and mutual trust, and to pray for a renewed spirit of true patriotism in our country.”
Archbishop Gomez concluded his message with a prayer to Our Lady, writing, “We ask the Blessed Virgin Mary, patroness of this great nation, to intercede for us. Help us to work together to realize the beautiful vision of the missionaries and founders of the United States: a nation under God, where the holiness of all human life is defended and freedom of conscience and religion is guaranteed.”
Photo: Vatican News photo of the 2016 meeting between Pope Francis and Joe Biden.