"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", Gregory said in a statement. "Saint Pope John Paul II was an ardent defender of the rights and dignity of human beings ... 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".
On Monday evening, police used tear gas and sheer physical force to secure a passage for Trump to cross Lafayette Square to St John’s Episcopal Church.
On Sunday, RIA Novosti correspondent Mikhail Turgiyev was pepper-sprayed in the face by a Minneapolis police officer despite identifying himself as a reporter, also while covering the protests.
The protests erupted across the nation after George Floyd, 46, an African American, died on 25 May in Minneapolis police custody after a white officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for at least eight minutes. Video evidence surfaced the following and sparked nationwide protests, many of which have led to violence and rioting.