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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 5, 2008 (Zenit.org) — Pope Benedict XVI is encouraging the president-elect of the United States to "build a world of peace, solidarity and justice."

The Pope said this in a telegram to Barack Obama, who won Tuesday's presidential election. The papal telegram was sent through the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, Mary Ann Glendon.

The Holy Father promises Obama his prayers so that God assists him in his "weighty responsibilities at the service of the nation and the international community."

The Italian-language message expresses the Pontiff's wish that the abundant blessings of the Lord "support you and the people of the United States in your efforts, together with all men and women of good will, to build a world of peace, solidarity and justice."

The Pope's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, also sent a telegram to the future president, announced Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office.

Father Lombardi also commented that "the task of the president of the United States is an immense task with very great responsibility, not only for his country, but for the entire world, given the weight of the United States in every field on the international scene."

"That's why all of us hope that new President Obama responds to these expectations and the hopes that are confided in him, efficiently serving law and justice, and finding adequate paths to promote peace in the world, favoring persons' development and dignity in respect of essential human and spiritual values," he added. "Believers pray so that God enlightens him and helps him in his most weighty responsibility."

Father Lombardi said the Pope will send another message to Obama when he is inaugurated in January.

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