President Biden calls for healing

Joe Biden during his inauguration in Washington this morning (CNS/Patrick Semansky, pool via Reuters)

The United States’ second Catholic president, Joe Biden, was sworn into office this morning, saying he was committed with his “whole soul” to bring the nation together. Source: CNS.

In his inaugural address, Mr Biden pleaded with Americans — having come through a bitter election, a time of racial reckoning and still in the midst of a deadly pandemic — to similarly take up this cause.

“It’s time for boldness because there is so much to do,” Mr Biden said in a 21-minute speech, urging Americans to work together for unity in this historic moment and stressing that the “American story depends not on some, but all.”

Mr Biden also urged the nation to recognise that the American story is one of hope, not fear, light, not darkness, and said “democracy has prevailed” despite efforts to shut it down just two weeks previously in the Capitol riots, which took place when Congress was confirming the election results.

Mr Biden was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts using a Bible that has been a family heirloom since 1893.

The inauguration’s invocation was led by Jesuit Father Leo O’Donovan, former president of Georgetown University and current director of mission for Jesuit Refugee Service. In his prayer, the priest quoted Pope Francis and stressed the need to care for one another “in word and deed, especially the least fortunate among us.”

Mr Biden and now-Vice President Kamala Harris attended Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew in Washington just before the inauguration.


Biden’s inaugural address calls for Americans to work for unity (By Carol Zimmerman, CNS)


Pope to Biden: foster peace and reconciliation in the US and the world (Vatican News)

Biden's inauguration will feature Catholic signs, symbolism (NCR Online)

Report: Joe Biden set to promptly reverse pro-life policies (CNA)

New book looks at intersection of Biden’s faith with his politics (Crux)

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