WASHINGTON. D.C., NOV. 5, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Francis George sent a message of congratulations to President-elect Barack Obama on the occasion of his win in the presidential election Tuesday.
The archbishop of Chicago and president of the U.S. bishop’s conference referred to Obama’s win as “historic.” He is the first African-American to be elected president of the United States.
“Our country is confronting many uncertainties,” Cardinal George said, speaking on behalf of all the U.S. bishops. “We pray that you will use the powers of your office to meet them with a special concern to defend the most vulnerable among us and heal the divisions in our country and our world.
“We stand ready to work with you in defense and support of the life and dignity of every human person.”
The issue of protecting the life of the unborn has been a common theme for the U.S. episcopate. This election year more than 50 heads of dioceses have spoken out against candidates who do not support the rights of the unborn.
Obama told a meeting of Planned Parenthood in 2007 that his first act as president would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would void all limitations on abortion passed on the state level.
The letter in its entirety follows.
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Dear President-elect Obama,
I write to you, in my capacity as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, to express our congratulations on your historic election as President of the United States. The people of our country have entrusted you with a great responsibility. As Catholic Bishops, we offer our prayers that God give you strength and wisdom to meet the coming challenges.
Our country is confronting many uncertainties. We pray that you will use the powers of your office to meet them with a special concern to defend the most vulnerable among us and heal the divisions in our country and our world. We stand ready to work with you in defense and support of the life and dignity of every human person.
May God bless you and Vice President-elect Biden as you prepare to assume your duties in service to our country and its citizens.
Francis Cardinal George, OMI
Archbishop of Chicago