Pope Francis congratulated Democratic nominee Joe Biden for his reported electoral victory on Thursday, who responded by expressing his intention to work with the pope on issues such as climate change, poverty, and immigration.
Biden thanked the Roman pontiff for “extending blessings and congratulations and noted his appreciation,” according to The Associated Press, and added that he extolled the pope for his “leadership in promoting peace, reconciliation, and the common bonds of humanity around the world.”
Francis is among several European leaders who have reached out to Biden to affirm his electoral victory, despite lingering litigation in key swing states. Other leaders who have congratulated Biden included British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Roman Catholic clergy have rebuked Biden for his abortion views. As The Daily Wire reported:
The Roman Catholic bishop of Knoxville, Tennessee, urged Democratic nominee Joe Biden to rethink his support of abortion in light of the fact that God is going to judge him.
“A question for Mr. Biden,” Bishop Rick Stika tweeted Sunday. “At your judgement before God, how will you explain changing your position about abortion and how will you explain promoting no limits and allowing all protections removed protecting the most innocent?”
“Will you tell God you supported the ultimate child abuse because of the [American] Constitution?” Stika added. “I wonder what God must have asked many leaders throughout the centuries? Government over human rights and the taking of innocent lives. Many Catholics will need to answer this the first of many questions about the poor, the starving etc.”
The pope obliquely clashed with President Donald Trump over his presidency, going so far as to imply in 2016 that Trump’s border wall is not Christian. As The Daily Wire reported at the time:
En route to his high-walled city-state after a multi-day tour of Mexico, where he held a “cross-border” Mass near the U.S.-Mexico border and denounced the evils of capitalism, Pope Francis told reporters that anyone who wants to build a wall on the border is not a Christian.
“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel,” said Pope Francis in response to being told that Donald Trump plans to build a wall at the border to stop the influx of illegal immigrants and expel those living in the country illegally.
“As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that,” the Pope continued. “I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.”
Francis has made clear where he stands on the issue of illegal immigration. In his much-quoted speech on the National Mall in September, the Pope framed the issue of illegal immigration in moral terms.
“Thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities,” he said. “Is this not what we want for our own children? We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’”