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Saturday, 28 November 2020

America's first black cardinal hopes to have a 'positive' relationship with Catholic Joe Biden despite disagreeing on abortion - after blasting Trump for tear gassing protesters to pose with a Bible outside a church

 The Catholic Archbishop of Washington DC says he hopes to have a positive relationship with President-elect Joe Biden.  

Wilton Gregory - who has just been nominated by Pope Francis to become America's first black cardinal - made the remarks from Rome, where he is currently quarantining ahead of his meeting with the Pope. 

'I want to begin whatever conversations ensue in a positive vein, rather than in an adversarial mode,' Gregory told CBS This Morning on Friday. 

Biden will be the country's second Catholic president, and the first in more than half a century. John F. Kennedy, who served as Commander-in-chief from 1960 until his assassination in 1963, has been the only Catholic to hold America's highest office. 

The President-elect is a devout Catholic, who attends Mass each Sunday and frequently references his faith in his public speeches and interviews. 

Gregory says that while he and Biden may disagree on some fundamental issues - including abortion - he hopes that they can build a friendship based on mutual respect and understanding. 

Wilton Gregory, the Catholic Archbishop of Washington DC,  says he hopes to have a positive relationship with President-elect Joe Biden

Wilton Gregory, the Catholic Archbishop of Washington DC,  says he hopes to have a positive relationship with President-elect Joe Biden

Biden will be the country's second Catholic president, and the first in more than half a century

Biden will be the country's second Catholic president, and the first in more than half a century

Gregory's relationship with President Trump has been far more fraught. 

Back in June, the priest blasted the Commander-in-chief for using tear gas to clear protesters from outside the White House so he could pay a visit to St. John's Episcopal Church. 


Many claimed the event was nothing more than a photo-op for the President, who subsequently posed with a Bible in hand after demonstrators had been injured in the fracas. 

Christian protesters later brandished signs which read 'Trump mocks Christ' and 'God Is Not A Prop'.  

At the time Gregroy claimed that the late Pope John Paul II would not have been supportive of the President's actions. 

'Saint Pope John Paul II was an ardent defender of the rights and dignity of human beings. His legacy bears vivid witness to that truth,' Gregory stated.

'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.'


Back in June,  Gregory blasted Trump  for using military force and teargas to clear protesters from outside the White House so he could pay a visit to St. John's Episcopal Church

Back in June,  Gregory blasted Trump  for using military force and teargas to clear protesters from outside the White House so he could pay a visit to St. John's Episcopal Church

Tear gas floats in the air as a line of police move demonstrators away from St. John's Church for Trump's visit on June 1, 2020

Tear gas floats in the air as a line of police move demonstrators away from St. John's Church for Trump's visit on June 1, 2020 

On June 2, President Trump and First Lady Melania visited the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, fueling further indignation from Gregory

On June 2, President Trump and First Lady Melania visited the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, fueling further indignation from Gregory

The following day, President Trump and First Lady Melania visited the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, fueling further indignation from Gregory. 

'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, which call us to defend the rights of all people, even those with whom we might disagree,' he stated. 

Meanwhile, new polling data from this month's presidential election reveals American Catholics divided 50-50 over who they voted for.

Catholics are traditionally a swing voting block. A majority of Catholics voted for Obama in both the 2008 and 2012 elections, before they flipped to vote for Trump in 2016. 

However, the President's support among Catholic voters declined this year - dropping from 52 percent in 2016 to 50 percent this year.

Wilton Gregory has made history as America's first black Cardinal. He was recently nominated to the position by Pope Francis

Wilton Gregory has made history as America's first black Cardinal. He was recently nominated to the position by Pope Francis 

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