TCA Media Monitoring June 3, 2020

1. Trump visits shrine, then signs faith freedom bill, By Tom Howell Jr., The Washington Times, June 3, 2020, Pg. A1

President Trump toured the St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington before signing an order to promote religious freedom Tuesday, marking his second visit to a Christian site in as many days amid nationwide protests over police brutality.

Mr. Trump and first lady Melania Trump laid a wreath and stood quietly in front of a statue of the late pope before entering the shrine in the Northeast section of the nation’s capital.

Yet Washington Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory blasted the visit in the wake of Monday’s scene at the Episcopal church.

Brian Burch, president of the conservative nonprofit Catholic Vote, hit back by saying “millions of Catholics in the United States, including many within the archbishop’s own flock, are grateful for today’s executive order.”

2. Catholic and Episcopal Clergy Fiercely Denounce Trump’s Church Visits, By Michael Crowley and Elizabeth Dias, The New York Times, June 3, 2020, Pg. A20

And on Tuesday, as Mr. Trump prepared to visit the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, a few miles from St. John’s, Archbishop Wilton Gregory, the Catholic archbishop of Washington, denounced the event in similar terms, calling it “baffling and reprehensible.”

In a statement, Brian Burch, the president of the conservative group CatholicVote, defended the president’s visit to the shrine as appropriate and criticized Archbishop Gregory. He called it “regrettable that the Archbishop of Washington chose this occasion to engage in a partisan attack on the president, especially when the country is in desperate need of healing and unity.”

3. Trump signs executive order on international religious freedom, By Christopher Vondracek, The Washington Times, June 3, 2020, Pg. A3

President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order that aims to prioritize religious freedom as a foreign policy initiative that includes requiring all civil service employees to undertake “international religious freedom training.”

The executive order sets aside $50 million annually for advancing international religious freedom by deterring attacks on sects and enhancing security at houses of worship.

“Religious freedom, America’s first freedom, is a moral and national security imperative,” the order reads. “Religious freedom for all people worldwide is a foreign policy priority of the United States and the United States will respect and vigorously promote this freedom.”

4. Pope prays for George Floyd, says turning ‘blind eye’ to racism is intolerable, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, June 3, 2020

Speaking to American viewers during his weekly general audience, Pope Francis Wednesday prayed for the repose of the soul of George Floyd and condemned racism, saying that turning a “blind eye” to the problem is intolerable.

5. Delaware governor to back off religious worship restrictions, By Randall Chase, Associated Press, June 2, 2020, 1:17 PM

Democratic Gov. John Carney plans to back off restrictions he imposed on church worship to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, state attorneys told a federal judge Tuesday.

Carney planned to issue new guidance regarding communities of worship either later Tuesday or Wednesday that could narrow, or even resolve, issues raised in a lawsuit challenging his restrictions as unconstitutional, attorneys said.

The lawsuit argues that houses of worship are being treated differently than other “essential” businesses in Delaware, and that they have been subjected to restrictions on religious practices — including how a baptism can be conducted — that are not neutrally and generally applicable to secular entities.


TCA Media Monitoring provides a snapshot from national newspapers and major Catholic press outlets of coverage regarding significant Catholic Church news and current issues with which the Catholic Church is traditionally or prominently engaged. The opinions and views expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Catholic Association.
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