Michigan bishop apologizes for calling President Biden ‘stupid’ — By: Catholic News Agency

Bishop Robert D. Gruss. CNA file photo. / null

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Apr 19, 2024 / 18:20 pm (CNA).

Bishop Robert Gruss of Saginaw, Michigan, issued an apology on Friday for having referred to President Joe Biden as “stupid” during a talk earlier in the month.

Gruss had made the comment in a talk on April 5 titled “Forgiveness as the Heart of Christianity.” During the address the prelate remarked that he “[doesn’t] have any anger toward the president. I feel sorry for him.”

“I’m not angry at him, he’s just stupid,” the bishop said, arguing that he didn’t use the word in “a derogatory way.”

“It’s stupidity in the sense of he doesn’t know until he does things,” the bishop said.

On Friday the diocese provided CNA with a statement from Gruss in which he argued that his remarks “were taken out context.”

“I was speaking in the context of forgiving the president and any people in government who offend us by their words and actions — that we cannot harbor resentment toward them because in doing so, it would be sinful,” Gruss said.

“We must forgive them if we are to be free,” he said.

“I used the word ‘stupid’ in reference to President Biden, recognizing that it was poor judgment in my choice of words,” Gruss said. “It was not meant to be disparaging, and I apologize.”

“I will continue to pray for the president and all political leaders, that they may seek and be guided by the Spirit of Truth,” he said. “I encourage people of all faiths and goodwill to pray for our great nation.”

The bishop noted that “you can find the whole talk online to understand what was really said.”

The Saginaw Diocese, one of seven in Michigan, is located in the central part of the state.

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