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Asian bishops welcome Biden’s election

The Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences welcomed the election of Joe Biden as president of the United States of America.

“We warmly send our prayerful wishes and congratulations to the people of America and the president-elect Joe Biden,” read a statement signed by Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon, president of the FABC.

The statement noted that with the election of Biden, the United States “enters into a new phase in their glorious history, affirming democracy and universal good.”

“President-elect Joe Biden comes from a long tradition of Catholic faith-based life,” the Asian bishops’ statement noted.

“His concern for the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor is a refreshing welcome,” it added.

Critics of the president-elect, however, noted that Biden has been an advocate of abortion rights, and even vowed once to enact legislation to make a woman’s freedom to choose to have an abortion “the law of the land.”

In 2019, Biden said that reproductive rights “are a constitutional right,” adding that “every woman should have that right.”

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops earlier congratulated Biden and called for dialogue and compromise for the common good.

In a statement, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the US bishops’ conference, said Biden “joins the late President John F. Kennedy as the second United States president to profess the Catholic faith.”

The statement issued by the US bishops thanked God “for the blessings of liberty.”

“Now is the time for our leaders to come together in a spirit of national unity and to commit themselves to dialogue and compromise for the common good,” it read.

A man holds a poster with the image of US Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and running mate, Senator Kamala Harris as others watch live results from the US election at a bar in Taipei, Taiwan, Nov. 4. (Photo by Ann Wang/Reuters)

Cardinal Bo, meanwhile, said that the world “with its poor and its climate challenges look forward to the USA fortifying the global fight against global warming and poverty.”

“With prayerful wishes we welcome him and do hope his tenure will pay greater attention to countries in the margins like Myanmar,” read the statement.

The federation of Catholic bishops’ conferences expressed hope that the United States “will play its leadership role in the company of international organizations like the UN.

“President-elect Joe Biden’s Catholic faith will help him in his long journey of seeking economic and environmental justice for all, the themes that guide the global Catholic Church and the US Catholic Bishops’ Conference,” it added.

“Surely the president-elect will have further chances to engage the Catholic church in building a world of peace and justice,” read the statement.

The Asian bishops said they join the American bishops in praying to the Blessed Virgin Mary to intercede for the United States.

The American bishops said “Catholics have a special duty to be peacemakers, to promote fraternity and mutual trust, and to pray for a renewed spirit of true patriotism in our country.”

Archbishop Gomez said urged everyone to pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary to intercede for the US, saying, “May she help us to work together to fulfill the beautiful vision of America’s missionaries and founders — one nation under God, where the sanctity of every human life is defended and freedom of conscience and religion are guaranteed.”

Several media outlets called the 2020 US presidential election for Biden on Nov. 7, after his leads in Pennsylvania and Nevada widened.

Although he will be the second Catholic president in US history, Biden has faced criticism from US bishops for a policy agenda that includes expanded legal protection and federal funding for abortion.

US President Donald Trump speaks about early results from the 2020 US presidential election in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, Nov. 4. (Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters)

President Donald Trump has not conceded the election, citing recounts and legal challenges to some statewide counts.

The Trump administration was widely praised by US bishops for enacting religious liberty protections, and promoting measures restricting abortion and the federal funding of abortion clinics.

Trump also garnered praise among pro-lifers for his appointment of Catholic justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

But Trump also faced criticism from the bishops for restricting the number of refugee and asylum seekers seeking entry into the US, and for his use of the federal death penalty.

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