Earlier Tuesday, Trump and first lady Melania Trump paid a visit to the National Shrine in Washington, a place of prayer for Catholics. It came after Trump on Monday night walked out of the White House and across the street to St. John’s Episcopal Church, which caught fire amid the protests following Floyd’s death.
During their visit to the shrine, they laid a wreath under the statue of Saint John Paul II. They also visited the Luminous Mysteries Chapel, John Paul II Blood Relic, and the Madonna Icon.
But Washington Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory delivered a scathing condemnation of the president’s visit, saying he opposed letting the president visit the site.
"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,” the archbishop said in a statement. “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.”
OK my 2 cents here, I am FINE with him going to the Shrine. His wife is Catholic and it may have meant a lot to her for them to go there together. What better thing to do in this horrible time of a pandemic and senseless violence than to visit the Shrine of a Saint declared by the Catholic church and pause and pray there and give some honor and respect. I am glad he and Melania went. I’d rather see them there than other places. About the tear gas that is the police and secret service to decide that. They are charged with his protection. The President didn’t walk with a stick, a gun, a rock, a molatov cocktail , pepper spray or anything else that was violent. At the other Church he carried his Bible. MAYBE just MAYBE he is trying to say that we need to turn to our Faith and our places of worship to help settle all of this unrest. Just maybe he is trying to advocate a peaceful solution and give this all to a higher authority than him. Did we ever see our former President go to or focus on a Church when times were tough and things were bad.
Well said. I just hope the Archbishop remembers this statement he made the next time he calls for “unity” in our nation.
I am convinced in my heart that Saint Pope John Paul II would have welcomed a visit from President Trump and his wife. The Archbishop, while he is welcome to his own opinion, seems to be unable to be welcoming people with whom he has a disagreement. What a missed opportunity for reconciliation and peace! Instead, the Archbishop accuses the President of using teargas to clear “peaceful” protesters from the path of another visit that occurred yesterday when he walked to another church which had been the subject of arson. And, perhaps the Archbishop has a point to make EXCEPT he was wrong in his accusation - there is ample evidence that the President’s people DID NOT use tear gas to clear the crowd. Is this a false accusation on the Archbishop’s part? Probably not, but it IS an imprudent remark based on misinformation.
So, here are some questions that need to asked: Was the Shrine closed when the president visited or was it open the the public? (Answer: It was open to the public). Should the president NOT be allowed to visit a Catholic Shrine that is open to the public? Do we as Catholics vet the people who visit our shrines? Should we? Did the president’s party misbehave while they were at the shrine? No. A wreath was laid at the statue of our sainted pope and the Trumps visited the Luminous Mysteries shrine. Oh! The scandal of it all!
Was it a photo op? Probably. Maybe the president was using this setting to make a different kind statement unrelated to his visit - but deeply related to the optics of the places that he has been visiting - CHURCHES; places where peace is supposedly embraced.
Should we be surprised by a president using a place as a photo op? I don’t think so. World leaders do this kind of thing all the time - popes do it too! That’s because world leaders are in the public eye. They use public awareness to communicate - often symbolically - important points that they think are necessary. I believe the point the president was making is a necessary one too at this point in time. He’s saying, this is a time for peace to overcome violence.
And I for one am glad he’s doing it. Because, let’s face it, people are behaving outrageously right now. They’re attacking police, they’re torching buildings, they’re looting, so that other people will see - what? - how angry they are? How righteous they are? How powerful they are with a match or a brick?
What is happening is NOT about justice, because justice, by its very nature in our world, must invariably go through a legal system that is created for this purpose. And that takes time. But what we’re seeing now is a situation where some people are too angry to allow justice to happen. They won’t wait. They don’t want justice, they want REVENGE. They’ve given up on justice and are embracing rage as its substitute.
President Trump is sending a message of peace and calm. I’m on his side. It’s time to stop the violence. We need God’s mercy not Man’s anger.
I don’t see how you can attack the president for a photo op, and preside at funeral for a supporter of abortion rights, including having the pro-abortion rights Speaker. Last time I checked the killing of babies is a bit more egregious than a photo op.
My goodness. I don’t like Trump at all, not even a little bit, but this archbishop’s attitude seems to remove any possibility of redemption. Stay in your lane Archbishop, that’s not your call to make.
40-50 million babies killed world-wide each year
someone needs to speak against the catholic politicians claiming it legal and moral
Catholic clergy have repeatedly condemned both the act itself and pro-choice political advocacy. Vatican officials have reportedly said Pelosi should be denied the sacrament of Holy Communion and the last pope – Pope Benedict XVI – personally reminded her of the Church’s stance on the issue during a private meeting.
at least be consistent if we are going to condemn politicians
I had suspected but wasn’t sure about this until I saw it confirmed online, but this visit was actually scheduled awhile ago to coincide with Trump signing an executive order on religious freedom today. So it wasn’t a hasty decision made for an opportunity for a photo-op. Convenient timing? Maybe, but it wasn’t some dastardly plan to capitalize on the Shrine to score political brownie points with his base like the Archbishop is inferring.
Not at all.
The visit was planned long ago to mark the signing of an Executive Order by President Trump on international religious freedom.
I can’t even remember how many times I’ve read people on CAF condemn Pres. Trump as arrogant , narcissistic, he thinks he’s God, he has no idea what is even in a Bible, etc., etc… So when the man DOES reach out and seek God’s help…on his knees no less…he is still condemned.
And for an Archbishop to have words coming out of both sides of his mouth is really interesting, "… "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,” the archbishop said in a statement.
Way to be so judgmental and “welcoming” to a lost sheep that Jesus might have purposely sent your way Archbishop…
I believe the good archbishop contradicts his own beliefs in just one sentence. He states that he “defends the rights of all people even those with whom we might disagree”, but he is denying this right to Trump and chides a Catholic facility for allowing itself to be manipulated by Trump’s visit This is not moral leadership. This is pathetic.
Luke 5:32: “I have come not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance”
St. Pope John Paul II, please pray for everyone involved in this situation, living and dead, and please also intercede for peace in DC and in our country.
Thank you in advance. Amen.
Sir, this is a Catholic forum.
This is the same archbishop that called pro-abortion advocate Cokie Roberts an “extraordinary, professional servant of the truth.”
He also said that she “believed in God’s word…accepted it and fashioned her life around that word“
You go Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory!!
I already forget the name that those young men from Kentucky were called with that trouble of about 2 years or so ago but some clergy at first criticized them and then backtracked on what they said.
He doesn’t even address an EO directly targeted at religious discrimination, something he should be happy about. DC has had some doozies, and Bishop Gregory fits the mold. In a time when the Church should be encouraging unity (and have its facts straight), Bishop Gregory just dumps gasoline onto a tense fire. Shameful and despicable.