Washington archbishop denounces Presidents visit to Catholic shrine as ‘baffling’ and ‘reprehensible’

WASHINGTON – A day after a much-criticized photo op at the fire-damaged St. John Episcopal Church near the White House, President Trump and first lady Melania, visited today the Saint John Paul II National Shrine. A visit that drew swift condemnation from a top church official. The shrine is a place of prayer for Catholics but welcomes people of all faiths.

The Presidential visit took place a day after he walked next to the White House and across Lafayette Park and posed for cameras outside St. John’s Episcopal Church, which was damaged by fire  late Sunday night by protesters.

President Trump and the first lady posed for photos in front of a statue of Pope John Paul II outside the shrine, and stood silently for a few minutes, hands clasped in front of them.

Washington Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory (Photo Left) slammed the presidential visit in a statement shortly before the president’s arrival.

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory said in a 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,”

By Alex Ammohostianos

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