Francis added that he is asking 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.”
The pope closed his message by invoking blessings upon Biden, his family, and the American people.
Shortly prior, the U.S. bishops’ conference released the full text of a prepared statement on Biden’s inauguration as president, after initially withholding it from publication.
Although it was expected to be released at 9 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday, the statement was not published by the bishops’ conference at that time. According to The Pillar, Vatican Secretariat of State officials stepped in to prevent its publication.
The conference published the full statement shortly after noon.
The U.S. bishops’ prepared statement said they planned to engage the new administration on issues including abortion, religious freedom, racism, and poverty.
According to sources at the conference, figures within the conference pushed back on language in the prepared statement that had highlighted areas of concern with the incoming Biden administration on abortion, gender, and religious freedom.
In particular, sources at the conference told CNA that Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago opposed the inclusion of language noting abortion as a problem with the incoming Biden administration. Biden has pledged to support taxpayer-funded abortion, among other pro-abortion policies.
In January 2017, Pope Francis sent a message to then-U.S. President Donald Trump on the occasion of his inauguration.
Hannah Brockhaus is Catholic News Agency's senior Rome correspondent. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a degree in English from Truman State University in Missouri.
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