Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, DC, slammed President Trump’s photo op at a church near the White House as a “charade.”
“This was a charade that in some ways was meant to bolster a message that does nothing to calm — to calm the soul and to reassure the nation that we can recover from this moment, which is what we need from a President,” Budde said in an interview with CNN's John Berman.
About the visit: Peaceful protesters just outside the White House gates were dispersed yesterday with tear gas, flash grenades and rubber bullets, before Trump walked from the White House to St. John’s Episcopal Church after giving an address in the Rose Garden. Trump held up a Bible outside of the church and said “we have the greatest country in the world.”
Budde said Trump doesn’t frequent the church or any other in the diocese.
“Let me be clear, he did not come to pray. He did not come to express remorse or consolation, he did not come to share the grief or to provide hope to the thousands of young people who were gathered in the park that day,” Budde said.
“He did nothing to say to them that your future is before you and I will protect you and do all that we can to make this country worthy of you — all the things that we need and deserve from anyone who is in leadership, spiritual or political, at this time," she added.
St. John’s sustained damage from a fire in one part of the building, but Budde said the church is structurally fine.
“We will rebuild; buildings can be rebuilt, lives cannot be brought back from the dead,” she said.