WILMINGTON, Del. (CNS) — Pope Francis called President-elect Joe Biden early Nov. 12 to congratulate him on winning the U.S. presidential election.
“The president-elect thanked His Holiness for extending blessings and congratulations and noted his appreciation for His Holiness’s leadership in promoting peace, reconciliation and the common bonds of humanity around the world,” said a readout on the call released by Biden’s transition team in Wilmington. It also appeared widely on Twitter.
Biden, the readout said, “expressed his desire to work together on the basis of a shared belief in the dignity and equality of all humankind on issues such as caring for the marginalized and the poor, addressing the crisis of climate change, and welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees into our communities.”
Biden will be the nation’s second Catholic president, after John F. Kennedy, who was elected to the nation’s highest office 60 years ago, on Nov. 8, 1960.
On Nov. 7, the media declared Biden the winner of the Nov. 3 election, but President Donald Trump has not conceded, and he and his campaign have filed several lawsuits in key battleground states, like Pennsylvania, disputing the election outcome, claiming voter fraud and irregularities in ballot counting.
While votes are still being counted, Biden has garnered 290 electoral votes while Trump has 217 electoral votes. It takes 270 votes to win the presidency.
In the meantime, Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are working with their transition team.
Biden first met Pope Francis in 2013 as vice president, serving with President Barack Obama. In 2015, Biden and Obama welcomed Pope Francis to Washington, where he addressed a joint meeting of Congress Sept. 24 of that year.
Then-Vice President Biden also met Pope Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, including a meeting in the pope’s Vatican office June 3, 2011.
While he was on the campaign trail for the 2020 presidential race, Biden invoked Pope Francis and quoted his encyclical, “Fratelli Tutti, on Fraternity and Social Friendship,” released Oct. 4 by the Vatican.
“Political life,” the pope wrote, “no longer has to do with healthy debates about long-term plans to improve people’s lives and to advance the common good, but only with slick marketing techniques primarily aimed at discrediting others. In this craven exchange of charges and countercharges, debate degenerates into a permanent state of disagreement and confrontation.”
Pope Francis urged Christians and all people of goodwill to recognize the equal dignity of all people and to work together to build a world where people love and care for one another as brothers and sisters.
Building that world, he said in the encyclical, requires “encounter and dialogue,” processes that allow people to speak from their experience and culture, to listen to one another, learn from one another and find ways to work together for the common good.
In a campaign speech in Warm Springs, Georgia, Oct. 27, Biden talked about the need to heal the nation as the country faces the pandemic and an economic crisis.
“Pope Francis warns us against this phony populism that appeals to the basest and most selfish instinct. He goes on to say politics is more noble than posturing, marketing and media spin. These sow nothing but division, conflict and bleak cynicism,” Biden said in his remarks.
“He said for those who seek to lead, we do well to ask ourselves why am I doing this? Why? What is my real aim? Pope Francis asked questions that anyone who seeks to lead this great nation should be able to answer. And my answer is this: I run to unite this nation and to heal this nation,” he said.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103