ROME— Pope Francis’ right-hand man has congratulated newly-elected American Donald Trump by wishing him a “truly fruitful” government while urging him to work for world peace.
“We assure him of our prayers, so that the Lord may enlighten him and support him in the service of his country, and of course, also in serving the well-being and peace of the world,” said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State.
“I believe that today there’s a need for all to work to change the world’s situation, that is one of great lacerations, great conflict,” he continued, talking to journalists at the opening of the academic year of a university in Rome.
Parolin, who is head of the Holy See’s diplomatic corps, began by asking for respect for “the will of the American people in this exercise of democracy,” adding that he had been made aware of the greatly increased voter turnout.
Asked about Francis’s past comments on Trump’s plan to build a wall in the border between the United States and Mexico, which he had described as “not Christian”, Parolin’s answer was careful.
“Let’s see how the president acts,” he said, adding that the responsibility of the presidency was different from the campaign trail.
“On specific issues we’ll see which are [Trump’s] choices and on the basis of those we can give a judgement,” he said. “I think it’s premature to give judgements”, he said.
Parolin was not the only religious leader to react to the news.
Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, promised his “continuing prayers that the United States may find reconciliation after a bitter campaign” as Trump prepares to take office.
His prayers, he shared on a Twitter post, also are for the president-elect to find “wisdom, insight and grace” as he faces the task before him.
“Together we pray for all the people of the United States,” he concluded.