Bishop asks for prayers for new President and Vice President, calls for dialogue and collaboration

SAN DIEGO (Jan. 20, 2021) – Bishop Robert W. McElroy, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, released the following Inauguration Day statement echoing Pope Francis’ message to President Biden and calling for “dialogue, not judgment; collaboration, not isolation; truth in charity, not harshness.”

“Pope Francis’ beautiful inauguration message to President Biden today points to the pathway that the Catholic community should follow as we seek to transform the political culture of our nation at this moment in our history.

“It is a pathway of reconciliation that places the healing of our society ahead of any specific policy issue, in the recognition that repairing the soul of our country is the pre-requisite for any sustainable effort to advance the common good.

“It is a pathway which recognizes the breadth and interrelationship of the gravest moral evils that confront us at this moment, ranging from poverty, abortion and racism, to violations of religious liberty, the victimization of immigrants and the destruction of the planet that is our common home.

“It is a pathway that calls us to reject the notion that the gravest assaults upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ can be categorized into the policy positions of one party or the other, one candidate or the other.

“Most importantly of all, Pope Francis’ message to President Biden fundamentally speaks to him in his humanity, a man of Catholic faith striving to serve his nation and his God. This is how we, the bishops of the United States, should encourage our new President: by entering into a relationship of dialogue, not judgment; collaboration, not isolation; truth in charity, not harshness.

“I join in the Holy Father’s prayers that Almighty God will grant President Biden and Vice-President Harris wisdom and strength in the exercise of their high offices, and that together we might re-forge the bonds of unity, freedom, justice and peace in a world tom asunder.”