A woman religious and protesters in Washington gather near the Capuchin College June 2 as President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visited the nearby St. John Paul II National Shrine. (CNS/Tyler Orsburn)
Catholic activists, nuns, laypeople and local residents protested in front of St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington during President Donald Trump’s visit there June 2.
Trump’s visit came a day after his controversial appearance in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, across from the White House, where he posed for photos holding up a Bible. Federal authorities used rubber bullets and smoke cannisters to disperse peaceful protesters in front of the White House before Trump, accompanied by aides, walked to St. John’s.
Earlier on June 2, Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory issued a statement criticizing the use of the shrine for Trump’s visit. The John Paul II Center is operated by the Knights of Columbus.
“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