Pope Francis issues warm words for Trump after inauguration

By Eric DuVall   |   Updated Jan. 21, 2017 at 7:50 PM
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Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Pope Francis offered warm wishes and said he is praying for President Donald Trump hours after he took the oath of office.

Francis said he hoped Trump would continue to display the values that have made American democracy a beacon of hope in the world.

"At a time when our human family is beset by grave humanitarian crises demanding far-sighted and united political responses, I pray that your decisions will be guided by the rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people and your nation's commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide," Francis said in a statement released by the Vatican on Friday.

"Under your leadership, may America's stature continue to be measured above all by its concern for the poor, the outcast and those in need who, like Lazarus, stand before our door."

Trump has previously clashed with Francis after the Catholic leader said efforts to build a wall to keep out undocumented immigrants are "not Christian." Francis did not single out Trump personally when he made the remarks over the summer. The then-candidate responded, calling Francis "disgraceful."

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