Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s number two, told media at a book launching on Thursday that it’s time to give US President-Elect Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt. 

“I think we should give the president time to make whatever decisions he deems appropriate. Personally, I already like the fact that he presented himself as the president of everyone, so he left behind, at least in his intentions, all the negative words he said while campaigning. Now we will see what he will do and then we will comment.”

Noting that the world has many conflicts, the cardinal said the U.S. should continue to use its voice to facilitate international dialogue. In addition, he named the first issues in which the Vatican is willing to collaborate with Donald Trump.

“I think that the question of peace is one of the fundamental issues. Next, the internal issues of the Church, such as religious freedom, actions taken by Catholics, and paying attention to the most vulnerable in society.”

On Wednesday the Cardinal took the unusual step of commenting on the US election result, making a brief statement on Vatican Radio. First, he highlighted the increased turnout of North American voters in this election. He then congratulated the new president and hoped his “government can truly be fruitful.”

He also said that the Vatican will pray for Donald Trump “so the Lord enlightens and sustains him in the service of his country, of course, but also for the well-being and peace in the world.” Especially, added the cardinal, since “today there is indeed a need for everyone to work to change the situation in the world, which is a serious laceration, a severe conflict.”

Early this year on a return flight from Mexico a journalist asked Pope Francis to respond to Donald Trump’s promise to build a wall between that country and the US, asking him whether a Catholic could vote fpor such a candidate. The Pope said:

“A person who only thinks about building walls and  does not focus on building bridges is not a Christian. This is not the Gospel. In regards to voting and not voting, I will not get involved. I’m just saying that this man that is saying this is not a Christian, if he has really said all of these things. Until then, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.”

Source: Rome Reports