Pope Francis congratulated Joe Biden yesterday, making the head of the Catholic Church the ninth world leader to speak personally with the former Vice President since he was named president-elect.
Biden will become the nation’s second Roman Catholic president, following John F. Kennedy, when he is inaugurated on Jan. 20.
“The president-elect thanked His Holiness for extending blessings and congratulations and noted his appreciation for His Holiness’ leadership in promoting peace, reconciliation, and the common bonds of humanity around the world,” a statement from the Biden campaign read.
The president-elect expressed his desire to work together on the basis of a shared belief in the dignity and equality of all humankind on issues such as caring for the marginalised and the poor, addressing the crisis of climate change, and welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees into our communities.”
Congratulations have continued to pour in from leaders around the world, even as President Trump refuses to concede the election and contests the vote count in several key swing states.
Since Saturday, Biden has fielded calls from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
The calls share a common thread of combatting the surging coronavirus pandemic but also the threats of climate change.
Pope Francis is the sovereign of the Vatican City State and has been a progressive force since his papacy began in 2013, last month appearing to voice support for same-sex civil unions.
He declined a meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the Vatican last month over fears the church would be dragged into the presidential election, according to various reports.