Will Trump also call the Catholic archbishop a “leftist media pawn”? There was no need for crowd-clearing teargas because this was a trip to signal to conservative Catholics (see Steve Bannon and Opus Dei) and maybe St Mickey’s…. but this trip may have been an attempt to counter the Biden speech in Philadelphia.
In a statement Tuesday morning as the president was arriving, Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory slammed the visit and the tactics Trumped had used for the photo opportunity at St. John’s Episcopal Church.
“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,” Gregory said.
The large shrine was opened as a museum to John Paul in 2001, but nose-dived financially and was bailed out in 2011 by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men’s religious organization that has lobbied for conservative political causes, such as opposing same-sex marriage.
In his statement, Gregory noted the legacy of Pope John Paul II, suggesting he would not have condoned Trump’s actions either.
“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,” Gregory said. “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.”