Trump’s visit had been scheduled weeks ago, well before riots erupted across the nation.
Amid burgeoning conflict regarding the president’s response to riots across the country, President Donald Trump visited the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday morning.
While a shrine spokesman said the visit was initially planned as the signing of an international religious freedom executive order and had been scheduled some time ago, Washington’s archbishop called Trump’s visit to the shrine “reprehensible.”
— DC Archdiocese (@WashArchdiocese) June 2, 2020
Here is the text of Archbishop Gregory’s June 2 statement:
“I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles, which call us to defend the rights of all people even those with whom we might disagree. Saint Pope John Paul II was an ardent defender of the rights and dignity of human beings. His legacy bears vivid witness to that truth. He certainly would not condone the use of tear gas and other deterrents to silence, scatter or intimidate them for a photo opportunity in front of a place of worship and peace.”
According to the White House daily press guidance, Trump had a scheduled visit to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in the city’s northeast at 11:20 a.m. on Tuesday.
The president’s visit now comes shortly before he will sign an executive order “to advance international religious freedom.”
Read more at Catholic News Agency
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TAKE ACTION: Contact Archbishop Gregory to let him know how you feel about his chastisement of President Trump