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‘I find it baffling and reprehensible’: Catholic archbishop of Washington slams Trump’s visit to John Paul II shrine

Jun 3, 2020

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey and Michelle Boorstein

President Trump triggered sharp condemnation from top religious leaders for the second time in two days on Tuesday, with Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory slamming his visit to a D.C. shrine honoring Pope John Paul II.

On Monday, Trump’s appearance in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church across from the White House set off a controversy because it involved aggressively clearing peaceful protesters.

“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 in a statement as Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrived at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Northeast Washington.

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