VATICAN CITY -- Congratulating Donald Trump for his victory in the U.S. 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' top aide, spoke about the
election early Nov. 9 during a meeting at Rome's Pontifical Lateran University.
The Vatican then released a transcript of his remarks.
"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 characterized by a large turnout at the
"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 well-being 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 U.S.-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 Feb. 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