Congratulating Donald Trump for his victory in the US presidential election, the Vatican secretary of state expressed hope that people would work together “to change the global situation, which is a situation of serious laceration, serious conflict.”
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Pope Francis’s top aide, spoke about the election early on November 9 during a meeting at Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University. The Vatican then released a transcript of his remarks, Catholic News Service reports.
“First of all,” he said, “we respectfully must take note of the will expressed by the American people in this exercise of democracy that, they tell me, was characterised by a large turnout at the polls.”
“We send our best wishes to the new president that his administration may truly be fruitful,” the cardinal said. “And we also assure him of our prayers that the Lord would enlighten and sustain him in his service to his country naturally, but also in serving the wellbeing and peace of the world.”
Cardinal Parolin was asked about the polemics that arose earlier in the year between Trump and Pope Francis over the question of immigration, especially concerning the US-Mexico border.
“Let’s see how the president acts,” Cardinal Parolin said. “Normally, they say, it is one thing to be a candidate and another to be president, to have that responsibility.”
“It seems premature to make judgments” until Trump is inaugurated and begins making decisions, Cardinal Parolin said.
During an in-flight news conference on February 17 after a trip to Mexico, the Pope was asked about his reaction to Trump’s proposal that the United States extend a fence along the full length of the border and his comments to Fox Business Network that Pope Francis is a politician and is being used by Mexicans.
“As far as being ‘a pawn,'” the Pope said, “that’s up to you, to the people, to decide.”
But one thing Pope Francis said he did know was that “a person who thinks only of building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, isn’t Christian.”
Asked if a Catholic could vote for such a candidate in good conscience, the Pope told reporters: “I’m not going to get mixed up in that. I’ll just say, this man is not Christian if he says this” about building walls.
Trump’s triumph over Hillary Clinton, not declared until well after midnight on Tuesday, will end eight years of Democratic dominance of the White House. He’ll govern with Congress fully under Republican control and lead a country deeply divided by his rancorous campaign against Clinton. He faces fractures within his own party, too, given the numerous Republicans who either tepidly supported his nomination or never backed him at all.
At a victory party in New York City, Trump urged Americans to “come together as one united people.”
Clinton called her Republican rival to concede but did not plan to speak publicly until Wednesday morning. At the victory party, Trump said the nation owed Clinton “a major debt of gratitude” for her years of public service.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence also addressed the crowd to declare victory, saying it was “a historic night.”
Trump’s running mate said “the American people have spoken and the American people have elected their new champion.”
Trump blasted through Democrats’ longstanding firewall, carrying Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, states that hadn’t voted for a GOP presidential candidate since the 1980s. He needed to win nearly all of the competitive battleground states, and he did just that, claiming Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and others.
Global stock markets and US stock futures plunged deeply, reflecting investor alarm over what a Trump presidency might mean for the economy and trade.
The Republican candidate will take office with Congress expected to be fully under Republican control. GOP Senate candidates fended off Democratic challengers in key states and appeared poised to maintain the majority. Republicans also maintained their grip on the House.
Senate control means Trump will have great leeway in appointing Supreme Court justices, which could mean a major change to the right that would last for decades.