Pope Francis to President Biden: God will guide US reconciliation

Pope Francis told US President Joe Biden on Wednesday that he was praying that God would guide his efforts to bring reconciliation in the United States and among the nations of the world.

In a message sent shortly after the second Catholic US president was sworn in, Francis also said he hoped Biden would work towards a society marked by true justice, freedom and respect for the rights and dignity of every person, especially the poor, the vulnerable and those with no voice.

"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 said.

Three days after the Jan. 6 attack on the US Congress by supporters of former president Donald Trump, Francis said the violence had left him "astonished."

In Wednesday's message to Biden, the pope said the "grave crises facing our human family call for farsighted and united responses."

Francis had a rocky relationship with Trump, who visited the Vatican in 2017, disagreeing with him on a series of issues including immigration and climate change.
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