Pope Francis congratulated president-elect Joe Biden during a call on Thursday morning.
Biden is set to be the country’s second Catholic president in the history of the United States, following former president John F. Kennedy, the NPR reported.
A statement from the Biden-Harris transition team reads: “The president-elect thanked His Holiness for extending blessings and congratulations and noted his appreciation for His Holiness’ leadership in promoting peace, reconciliation, and the common bonds of humanity around the world.”
The president-elect “expressed his desire to work together on the basis of a shared belief in the dignity and equality of all humankind on issues such as caring for the marginalized and the poor, addressing the crisis of climate change, and welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees into our communities,” the statement added.
In October, Biden talked about his friendship with the pope when he addressed the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner.
He talked about their first meeting during the Pope’s 2013 inauguration at the Vatican.
“When I greeted him he said, ‘Mr. Vice President you’re always welcome here,’” Biden shared. “He was really sending a message to the world to put out a welcome sign in the front door of our church.”
He also mentioned Pope Francis’ visit to the White House in 2015, saying the visit gave him a sense of ‘hope and possibility together.
Biden added: “And for me it came at a very personal moment, a very tough time in the life of my family. Our son Beau had just died a few months earlier. Pope Francis took the time to meet with my entire family to help us see the light through the darkness.”
He said that his friendship with the pope proves that ‘anything is possible.’
“I live in an amazing country, we all live in an amazing country. Where an Irish-Catholic kid like me from Scranton, Pennsylvania would one day befriend a Jesuit Pope,” Biden added.
“But that’s who we are as a country.”
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