Catholic Archbishop Attacks Trump As US Protests Continue

Tuesday’s visit “manipulated” the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, Archbishop Wilton D Gregory said.

Catholic Archbishop Attacks Trump As US Protests Continue
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The Catholic archbishop of Washington has sharply criticized President Trump’s visit to a shrine on Tuesday as the civil unrest and violence continues around the country over the death of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis police custody.

Wilton D Gregory said that President’s visit manipulated the Saint John Paul II National Shrine. Meanwhile, more than 75 cities across the US faced mass protests; many states have called in the National Guard and imposed curfews to quell the unrest and looting.

In New York, demonstrators defied the earlier curfew imposed by the city authorities. The traffic police were deployed to stop the looting in Manhattan. However, there were no major incidents reported on Tuesday.

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After days of violent protests, more than 40 cities have imposed the curfew. Local media claimed that in Atlanta, police fired tear gas to disperse the protesters. On Tuesday, the Democratic presidential candidate accused the President of using the crisis to appeal to his supporters, saying he was “serving his base”.

On Monday, Trump threatened to deploy the army if the states and city authorities failed to quell the unrest and looting.  Ahead of President Trump’s visit on Tuesday to Saint John Paul II National Shrine, Archbishop Wilton D Gregory described it as an act against Church’s religious principles.

The statement added that it is baffling that any church would allow itself to be used in such a fashion. It further urged the masses to protect everyone and reminded Catholics to defend the rights of all people, even if they disagree with them.

Before Trump’s visit, police fired tear gas and pepper bullets to clear the park for him to cross and join a photo session outside the church, where he held a Bible in front of the media. Saint John Paul commented that he would not condone the use of tear gas and other deterrents to scattered, silence, and intimidate demonstrators.

Meanwhile, Archbishop Gregory is the first African American to lead the diocese. The Knights of Columbus run the shrine, an all-male catholic organization that has lobbied for conservative values.

Mariann Budde, Episcopalian bishop of Washington, also strongly criticized Trump’s actions. In the UK, the archbishops of Canterbury and York described this as an on-going evil of white supremacy.

From these developments emerges a new pattern, where Trump’s signaling of religious affiliation has not been welcomed by many clerics across the country as it faces the twin challenges of the pandemic outbreak and the recent unrest.

However, the president does not belong to any specific congregation as he occasionally joins the services and has claimed many times that he does not like to ask God for forgiveness. But even though Trump may not consider the church as essential to his personal life, it may yet hold numerous keys to his political future.

According to the data, in 2016, the Republican President won nearly 81 percent of evangelical votes, and exit polls suggested that Catholics supported Trump over Hillary Clinton.

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