Wilton Gregory condemns Donald Trump visit to Catholic shrine

One day after peaceful protesters were cleared with tear gas and rubber bullets to allow him to stand in front of an Episcopal church, President Trump and first lady Melania Trump paid a visit today to a local shrine honoring Pope John Paul II.

In the last few minutes, Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who formerly led the archdiocese of Atlanta, made his displeasure with the visit known:

"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.

"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."