Vatican City - Pope Benedict XVI in a telegram on Tuesday offered US president-elect Barack Obama prayers that God may grant him "unfailing wisdom and strength" in carrying out his new responsibilities.
"Under your leadership may the American people continue to find in their impressive religious and political heritage the spiritual values and ethical principles needed to cooperate in the building of a truly just and free society," Benedict told Obama just a few hours before the inauguration ceremonies.
Benedict said such qualities were needed of the US leader particularly: "At a time when so many of our brothers and sisters throughout the world yearn for liberation from the scourge of poverty, hunger and violence."
"Upon you and your family, and upon all the American people, I willingly invoke the Lord's blessing of joy and peace," the pontiff concluded.
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