Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Representing Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, Maryknoll Sisters, and Maryknoll Lay Missioners
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Maryknoll Statement on New U.S. Presidency, Executive Orders

The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns issued the following statement on the Inauguration of President Joe Biden and several key executive orders issued by the President on his first day in office. 

Read the statement as a PDF

January 20, 2021

The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns celebrates today the historic inauguration of Joe Biden as the second Catholic President of the United States and Kamala Harris as the first woman and woman of color to serve as Vice President. We pledge to work with the new Administration to promote justice, peace, and the integrity of creation as our faith calls us to do. Today, we also celebrate the numerous executive orders issued by President Biden that seek to defend and promote the common good. 

Susan Gunn, Director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns said:

“Today marks an opportunity to begin anew. I cannot stop my tears as my mind looks back over the trials faced by so many in the last four years. I recall the faces of friends and loved ones who are no longer here to move forward with us – the Maryknoll missioners and friends who died of COVID-19, refugees and migrants abandoned by the United States in their hour of need, victims of racially motivated violence, and the devastation of creation by climate-fueled hurricane winds and raging fires and floods. Too many times over the last four years we have been shocked by unchecked violence, greed, and racism in our politics, polices, and social structures, and we have cried out for mercy.

“As we turn and move forward today, we look to our faith that teaches that each of us is called to love God our Creator and to love our neighbor. Maryknoll missioners living at the margins of society throughout the world see the hunger, sickness, and violence inflicted on people when these basic tenets are ignored. In participating in civic life and pursuing what Pope Francis calls “political charity,” we are called to share God’s love by creating social structures where human dignity is respected above all else. 

“The executive orders that President Biden issued today – namely, to establish a White House COVID-19 team, to cease withdrawal from the World Heath Organization (WHO), to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, to preserve and fortify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and to revoke a Muslim ban – are a turn in the right direction to build a beloved community where all life can flourish. For that, we give thanks. We pledge to keep pressing forward, to keep raising the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor, and working for justice, peace, and integrity of creation.”