The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington condemned President Donald Trump on Monday for his visit to St. John's Episcopal Church near the White House after law enforcement officers used tear gas to clear protesters from the area.
"Let me be clear: The president just used a Bible, the most sacred text of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and one of the churches of my diocese without permission as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything that our churches stand for," Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde told CNN.
"And to do so... he sanctioned the use of tear gas by police officers in riot gear to clear the church yard. I am outraged," Budde said.
Budde said she and her colleagues were given no notice Trump would be visiting the church, and found out while watching the news.
"The president did not pray when he came to St. John’s, nor … did he acknowledge the agony of our country right now, and in particular, the people of color in our nation who wonder if anyone in public power will ever acknowledge their sacred work, and who are rightfully demanding an end to 400 years of systemic racism and white supremacy in our country," Budde said.
The Diocese of Washington distances itself "from the incendiary language of this president," Budde said. She said the diocese stands with those protesting racism and police brutality.
"I just can’t believe what my eyes have seen tonight," Budde said.