The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops urged Americans to move forward after the presidential election with a unified focus on the common good, while the Vatican’s secretary of state called upon Donald Trump to work for world peace.
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville said in a statement on behalf of the USCCB congratulating Trump that “now is the moment to move toward the responsibility of governing for the common good of all citizens.”
“Let us not see each other in the divisive light of Democrat or Republican or any other political party, but rather, let us see the face of Christ in our neighbors, especially the suffering or those with whom we may disagree,” Kurtz said, adding a reminder of what Pope Francis said when he addressed Congress last year: “All political activity must serve and promote the good of the human person and be based on respect for his or her dignity.” The Catholic Church does not endorse political candidates.
“Millions of Americans who are struggling to find economic opportunity for their families voted to be heard. Our response should be simple: we hear you. The responsibility to help strengthen families belongs to each of us,” the bishop added.
Kurtz said the USCCB “looks forward to working with President-elect Trump to protect human life from its most vulnerable beginning to its natural end.”
“We will advocate for policies that offer opportunity to all people, of all faiths, in all walks of life. We are firm in our resolve that our brothers and sisters who are migrants and refugees can be humanely welcomed without sacrificing our security. We will call attention to the violent persecution threatening our fellow Christians and people of other faiths around the world, especially in the Middle East,” he said. “And we will look for the new administration’s commitment to domestic religious liberty, ensuring people of faith remain free to proclaim and shape our lives around the truth about man and woman, and the unique bond of marriage that they can form.”
“Every election brings a new beginning. Some may wonder whether the country can reconcile, work together and fulfill the promise of a more perfect union. Through the hope Christ offers, I believe God will give us the strength to heal and unite.”
Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin told reporters Wednesday that they hope Trump’s government “may bear real fruit.”
Parolin said it was too early to comment on specific issues, Vatican Radio reported, saying that the person who was on the campaign trail may be different from the person who serves in the Oval Office.
He said they were praying for a president who pays attention to the “grave wounds of serious conflicts” around the world.
Pope Francis tweeted the day after the election:
May we make God’s merciful love ever more evident in our world through dialogue, mutual acceptance and fraternal cooperation.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) November 9, 2016