The bishops of Mexico congratulated Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador on his election as the next president of the country, stressing the need to “collaborate in a positive way with our elected officials.”

Leftist candidate Lopez Obrador won the July 1 presidential election in Mexico by significant margins. The anti-establishment candidate ran on a populist platform, pledging to tackle the drug violence, corruption, and poverty plaguing the country.

He has called for a respectful relationship between the U.S. and Mexico, but criticized U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan for a border wall.

In a statement published July 2, the Mexican Bishops’ Conference highlighted that election day “was in general, orderly and peaceful.”

“Behind this exercise in democracy is the dignity and freedom of every human being, called to participate in social life,” they said. “We express our appreciation to the election officials as well as all citizens in general. Government and society, working together, we can do great things.”

The Mexican bishops stressed that no single government official can solve all problems. They noted the importance of participation by the people, “always with respect for human rights and the authentic common good.”

“We will only be able to create better conditions for development for everyone if we get personally involved in the improvement of our municipalities, states and the entire Mexican Republic,” they said.

Looking to the future, the bishops said that “education and the fight against poverty, truth and freedom, respect for differences and the search for consensus are ways to overcome inequality, selfishness and abuse.”

“We especially urge Catholics to redouble their commitment so that the witness of our dedication and generosity will illuminate social life with the Gospel of life, peace and solidarity.”

Entrusting the country to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the bishops said they will continue to pray for “a reconciled, just and fraternal Mexico which vindicates the dignity of the poorest and most excluded, the life of the unborn, the good of our families and authentic religious freedom.”

This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.