Pope FrancisPope FrancisPope urges parents to support gay children Pope Benedict XVI says he attended meeting to discuss abusive priest Pope notes 'rising tensions' in Ukraine, calls for talks MORE on Wednesday issued a message for newly sworn-in President Biden, saying he would pray for God to aid Biden's efforts to heal America's divisions in an Inauguration Day message.
In the statement, the Pope added that he hoped the president would work toward building a society that serves equal justice to all and respects the rights of the vulnerable, according to Reuters.
“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,” 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 continued, according to Reuters.
Biden took office Wednesday as the 46th president of the United States on the steps of the U.S. Capitol surrounded by thousands of National Guardsmen and other security forces following a deadly riot at the Capitol earlier this month that resulted in five deaths.
He is only the second Catholic to hold the nation's highest office, the first being former President Kennedy. The president has regularly attended Mass in recent months and notably did so on the day of his election in November.
Today's remarks were not the first time Francis has commented on the political divisions in America; after the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, the Pope appeared to refer to former President TrumpDonald TrumpNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Kemp leading Perdue in Georgia gubernatorial primary: poll US ranked 27th least corrupt country in the world MORE's supporters who stormed the Capitol when he referred to "people who take a path against the community, against democracy and against the common good" and "must be condemned, this movement, regardless of the people."