Joe Biden, a progressive Catholic, began the day of his investiture with a mass

Joe Biden, 46th president of the United States, began his inauguration day with an early mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, the same where the funeral of John F. Kennedy took place, the first and until the election of Biden the only Catholic president of the United States.

Biden, the second Catholic president to occupy the White House, 60 years after Kennedy, presents a moderate and progressive profile that was nourished by the social doctrine of the Church, the teachings of Pope John XXIII and, in some way, what that came to America from liberation theology and its preferential option for the poor.

First decrees to protect immigrants

In this sense, the first decrees related to immigration that he signed, just a few hours after his inauguration, are significant. In his first act in the Oval Office, the new US president enacted to protect the DACA program against the deportation of the ‘dreamers’, stop the construction of the wall with Mexico and annul the immigration veto that prevents the entry into the United States to the citizens of 11 Muslim majority countries.

His evolution on abortion

His opinion on abortion, which at the beginning of his career as a senator positioned him as an opponent, has evolved to the point that he plans to lift the veto of funds for programs related to voluntary interruption of pregnancy that the Trump administration had imposed.

Biden would even be willing to reverse several of the more restrictive sexual and reproductive health policies implemented by Donald Trump, including limits on abortion.

A stance that goes hand in hand with his practicing Catholicism. His faith plays a central role in his personal, family and political life. In his inaugural address last November, after winning the election, he mentioned a saint of the Catholic Church to invite the reconciliation of American society and speak out against racism.

“Many centuries ago, St. Augustine, a saint from my church wrote that the people were a multitude defined by the common objects of their love. What are these that define us as Americans? I think we know them: opportunity, security, freedom, dignity and respect, honor. And yes, the truth. “

Pope Francis’ message

In this same sense, Pope Francis, with whom Biden has met twice, sent him this Wednesday, on the occasion of his investiture, a message to promote “reconciliation and peace” both in his country and throughout the world. world.

“I ask God, source of all wisdom and truth, to guide your efforts to promote understanding, reconciliation and peace in the United States and among the nations of the world in order to promote the universal common good,” read the letter addressed to the new American president.

“I pray that your decisions are guided by the desire to build a society marked by authentic justice and freedom, by unwavering respect for the rights and dignity of all people, especially the poor, vulnerable and those who have no voice. “added the pontiff.

A few prayers, without a doubt, necessary in a deeply divided and fragmented American society as these last elections have demonstrated.