On June 2, 2020, President and Mrs. Trump visited the John Paul II National Shrine.
Melania Trump is the first Catholic First Lady since Jacqueline Kennedy.
Their visit was planned long ago to commemorate both Pope Saint John Paul II’s 100th birthday and the 41st anniversary of his historic Mass at Victory Square in Warsaw.
The shrine was established and operated by the Knights of Columbus.
On June 3, 2020, President Trump is making religious freedom a priority of his administration.
Washington, D.C.’s Archbishop Wilton Gregory sharply criticized those who had allowed the First Couple to pray at the shrine.
“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.”
Former U.S. Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò responded with a very strongly worded letter he sent to the priests and laity of the Archdiocese of Washington on June 3.
“Over the past twenty years, your [Archdiocese] of Washington, in particular and now for the third time, has been and continues to be deeply afflicted and wounded by false shepherds whose way of life is full of lies, deceits, lust and corruption. Wherever they have been, they were a cause of serious scandal for various local Churches, for your entire country and for the whole Church.
“Do not follow them, as they lead you to perdition. They are mercenaries. They teach and practice falsehoods and corruption!”
The two Archbishops of Washington immediately preceding Gregory were Cardinal Donald William Wuerl and ex-cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick.
- Wuerl was implicated in sex abuse cover-ups.
- McCarrick has been credibly accused of abusing seminarians and accused of serial sex abuse.
- It is suspected that Wuerl had some hand in securing McCarrick as his successor.
Archbishop Gregory is known for his support for homosexuality and other unorthodox positions, such as wanting Catholics living in a state of adultery to receive Holy Communion.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump has a sterling record as a bold protector of religious liberty and the most anti-abortion president in the history of the nation.