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The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington sharply criticized President Donald Trump for staging a visit to the historic St. John’s Church across from the White House, where he held up a Bible after authorities had cleared the area of peaceful protesters.

The Rev. Mariann Budde, whose diocese St.

John’s belongs to, said in a statement Monday night that she was “outraged” by Trump’s visit and noted that he didn’t pray while stopping by the church, a landmark known for its regular visits from sitting presidents since the early 19th century.

“He took the symbols sacred to our tradition and stood in front of a house of prayer in full expectation that would be a celebratory moment,” Budde said in an interview after her statement on Trump’s visit was posted to the diocese’s Twitter account.

“There was nothing I could do but speak out against that,” she added, calling for a focus on “the deeper wounds of the country” amid ongoing demonstrations against racial injustice.

Budde said the church was “just completely caught off-guard” by the visit, with “no sense that this was a sacred space to be used for sacred purposes.” In order to facilitate Trump’s statement there, she said, she believed tear gas was used in the area between the White House and the church.

As protests nationwide flared following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, St. John’s suffered minor damage Sunday night from a fire in the church basement. Budde said “our suffering was minimal” compared with businesses that were destroyed by recent looting, even as she defended the goals of peaceful protesters responding to Floyd’s killing.

“We can rebuild the church. We can replace the furnishings of a nursery,” she said, referring to the damaged area. “We can’t bring a man’s life back.”

The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, issued his own statement saying that Trump had “used a church building and the Holy Bible for partisan political purposes.”

“This was done in a time of deep hurt and pain in our country, and his action did nothing to help us or to heal us,” added Curry, the first African American to hold that leadership post for U.S. Episcopalians.

Budde took her position at the church in Washington in 2011 after spending 18 years in Minneapolis.

“I want to build up the liberal church again so we can be a legitimate conversation partner in the public arena,” she told The Washington Post at the time.

The bishop, who last year joined other Washington National Cathedral leaders in a statement that excoriated Trump’s “racialized rhetoric,” firmly aligned her faith with the goals of peaceful protesters driven by Floyd’s death to decry systemic racism.

“In no way do we support the President’s incendiary response to a wounded, grieving nation,” Budde said in her statement. “In faithfulness to our Savior who lived a life of non-violence and sacrificial love, we align ourselves with those seeking justice for the death of George Floyd.”

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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Americans mistake Prince Harry for country singer and TV newsman when shown his picture – and one calls him Harris

PRINCE Harry was mistaken for a country singer, a TV newsman and a basketball player in a quiz by confused Americans.

Dozens of people in small communities across the US were shown a recent photo of the Duke of Sussex and asked who he was, leaving some scratching their heads.

2Prince Harry was unrecognisable for some Americans who live in a small town just 100 miles from his LA mansionCredit: AFP or licensors

One of the people thought he could be one of the Trump family members, while another was convinced he was an actor.

The poll, created by the Mail on Sunday, discovered that the town of Taft, which has a community of around 10,000 had no idea who he was.

Just 100 miles north of the Prince's new home in Montecito, Annalise Wills, 23, boldly asked: "Who is that?"

George Peabody, a former teacher thought he saw him on a 'Wanted' poster at the post office.

"Or is he one of Donald Trump's kids?" he asked.

Victoria Pirpour, 29, thought the royal was a basketball player, but she said she wasn't sure what team he was on.

For some it was a silly question, Glenda Bonds, 56 declared confidently that he was an actor.

After studying the picture, Phillip Johnson, 82 said: "He looks familiar – is he a TV anchor? I watch Fox News all the time, I think he's one of them."

Paige Gammell, 21, was slightly closer to the mark and asked if he was the King. She asked if it was "Prince Charles" or "Henry".

Pastor Doug Huff, 53, said: "Did he create a lot of controversy because of his stance on Covid? Is he married to royalty?"

He looks familiar – is he a TV anchor?

Phillip Johnson, 82

Town ambassador Anderson Pacouloute, 36, got the title correct, but lost points on Harry's name: "Right, that's Prince Harris.

In Princetown, a small town in northern Texas, many had no idea who Prince Harry was.

Some could work out he was royalty, but couldn't name him - whereas some knew instantly who he was.

Sheryl Hamilton, 65, was dropping off bundles of washing at a laundrette after she had no hot water in her home due to a recent storm.

Prince Harry and Meghan had reportedly donated to a Texas women's shelter that had been badly hit by the storm.

Sheryl instantly knew who the man was in the picture and named him instantly.

She did however say the pair were a "little too liberal" for her liking and said she hoped they wouldn't visit Texas any time soon.

Prince Harry was recently intereviewed by James Corden as part of The Late Late Show, where he insisted that he and Meghan "never walked away" from the royals.

He insisted that he did "what any husband or father would do."

The chat on an open air bus was filmed before the pair were stripped of their honorary titles, Harry insisted his life will "always be about public service" - and says his wife "signed up for that" too.

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The 36-year-old added that it was a "really difficult environment" and said of the press: "It's destroying my mental health".

The duke also spoke about his early relationship with Meghan, 39 - admitting he knew she was "the one" after just two dates.

"It was an amazing thing. We went from zero to 60 in the first two months," he told Corden.

Prince Harry was interviewed by James Corden for The Late Late Show

 

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