Vatican's Cardinal Parolin offers prayers for President-elect Trump

Cardinal Pietro Parolin speaks during a high-level side event Sept. 19 at the United Nations. Also pictured are Archbishop Bernardito Auza, left, and Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo. (CNS/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Vatican City — The Vatican's Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin has congratulated U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on his election Tuesday and assured him of prayers for his success.

"We congratulate the new president and hope his governance may truly be fruitful," said Parolin, speaking Wednesday in a brief interview with Vatican Radio.

"We assure him of our prayers that the Lord may enlighten him and sustain him in service to his country, naturally, but also in service to the well-being and peace of the world," said the cardinal. "I believe that today there is need for all of us to work to change the global situation, which is a situation of grave wounds, of grave conflict."

Parolin was also asked a statement Francis made in February, when the pontiff questioned Trump's Christianity and said his plan to build a wall across the entire U.S.-Mexican border has no basis in the Gospel.

"On specific themes, we will see how individual choices go and on the basis of those will give a judgment," the cardinal responded. "It seems premature to give judgments."

[Joshua J. McElwee is NCR Vatican correspondent. His email address is Follow him on Twitter: @joshjmac.]

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