Archbp. Gregory

Archbishop Gregory

Phil Lawler writes for – “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,” said Archbishop Wilton Gregory after President Donald Trump visited the St. John Paul II Shrine in Washington.

Do you want to know what I find baffling and reprehensible, Archbishop Gregory?

I find it baffling and reprehensible:

  • … that a Catholic archbishop would issue a patently partisan statement at a time when our nation is already deeply divided.
  • … that any responsible leader would issue an inflammatory statement without checking the facts—and learning, in this case, that Trump’s visit to the Shrine was not connected with the demonstrations and riots in our cities, had been planned well in advance, and was intended to focus attention on the international quest for religious freedom—which, the last time I checked, was a cause that did not violate Catholic religious principles.
  • … that a Catholic prelate evidently didn’t bother to contact an important Catholic institution, to hear its side of the story, before issuing a public condemnation. The Knights of Columbus, who administer the St. John Paul II Shrine, have been scrupulously loyal to the Catholic hierarchy; they deserve at least this elementary courtesy in return.
  • …that a Catholic archbishop ripped into the President at a time when Trump was advancing a cause that is, in fact, unequivocally in accordance with Catholic principles. While at the Shrine, Trump signed an executive order that directs the US government to make religious freedom a high priority in foreign affairs, and provides funding for that campaign. Whatever else Catholics might think about White House initiatives, this one deserved support, not angry denunciation.
  • … that a Catholic pastor who has passively accepted the imposition of government restrictions which effectively prevent the public celebration of Mass would make a political matter—not the administration of the sacraments—his top priority.
  • … that Archbishop Gregory would be hypocritical enough to criticize someone else for allowing the manipulation of the Church for political purposes, when he has given over the pulpit of his cathedral to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose ardent defense of abortion on demand unquestionably “violates our religious principles.”
  • … and for that matter that Archbishop Gregory, who devoted a Pentecost Sunday statement to a condemnation of racism, so blithely overlooks the most evident display of racial disparity on our nation: the systematic extermination of African-Americans in the womb, aided and abetted by the liberal Catholic politicians who welcomed the archbishop’s latest petulant outburst.

[Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at]

Categories: Vatican Watch