As majority of Americans celebrated the presidential win of Joe Biden against incumbent president Donald Trump, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops congratulated Biden and called for dialogue and compromise for the common good.
“We recognize that Joseph R. Biden, Jr., has received enough votes to be elected the 46th President of the United States,” Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Gomez said in a statement. “We congratulate Mr. Biden and acknowledge that he joins the late President John F. Kennedy as the second United States president to profess the Catholic faith.”
As Catholics and Americans
Archbishop Gomez also called for the people “to follow Jesus Christ, to bear witness to His love in our lives, and to build His Kingdom on earth.” He also said that Catholics have a duty to be peacemakers and urged everyone to pray for a renewed spirit of true patriotism in America.
“Democracy requires that all of us conduct ourselves as people of virtue and self-discipline. It requires that we respect the free expression of opinions and that we treat one another with charity and civility, even as we might disagree deeply in our debates on matters of law and public policy.”
Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Moreover, the archbishop asked for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. “May she help us to work together to fulfill the beautiful vision of American’s missionaries and founders– one nation under God, where the sanctity of every human life is defended and freedom of conscience and religion are guaranteed.”
Archbishop Gomez also congratulated Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, “who becomes the first woman ever elected as vice president.”
Second Catholic President
Joe Biden will be the second Catholic President in U.S. history. President John F. Kennedy was the first. However, his religion did not shield him from facing criticism from US bishops over a policy agenda that includes expanded legal protection and federal funding for abortion.
In contrast, the Trump administration was widely praised by U.S. bishops for enacting religious liberty protections, and promoting measures restricting abortion and the federal funding of abortion clinics. Trump have also gained praise among pro-lifers when he appointed Catholic justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
But Trump faced backlash from bishops when he restricted the number of refugee and asylum seekers into the US.
Trump has not conceded the election and cited recounts and legal challenges to some statewide counts.