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Dignity and equality’: Biden speaks to Pope Francis as Trump continues to claim election victory

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Dignity and equality’: Biden speaks to Pope Francis as Trump continues to claim election victory

President-elect Joe Biden spoke with Pope Francis as he continued plans to take over the role of diplomat-in-chief, even as Donald Trump dug in on challenging the election’s outcome.

Mr Biden is on track to become only the second Catholic president, following John F Kennedy.

“The president-elect thanked His Holiness for extending blessings and congratulations and noted his appreciation for His Holiness’s leadership in promoting peace, reconciliation, and the common bonds of humanity around the world,” the Biden transition office said in a statement.

“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 marginalised and the poor, addressing the crisis of climate change, and welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees into our communities,” the Biden team added.

Mr Trump met with Pope Francis at the Vatican in June 2017, but the two have traded critical barbs since.

Earlier this year, the president tweeted about a letter he got from Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who two years prior called on the Pope to step down. Mr Trump was flattered by a letter the archbishop sent him criticising the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Pope, for his part, has questioned Mr Trump’s Christianity.

“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not of building bridges, is not Christian,” he said in 2016, when Mr Trump was a presidential candidate.

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