LANSING, Mich. — Saturday Pope Francis appointed the first African American cardinal.
Washington D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory will be one of 13 new cardinals. The cardinals, who wear red robes at ceremonies, are the most senior clergymen in the Roman Catholic Church after the Pope himself.
Gregory, 72, has been archbishop since 2019.
As head of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference in the early 2000′s, Gregory spearheaded the Catholic church’s response to the sex abuse crisis. Gregory has been an ordained priest since the age of 25. He became archbishop of Washington in May 2019, following Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s resignation amid criticism of how he handled abuse cases.
“I hope it’s a time that we can transition, peacefully, into a new administration where we can reset the conversation,” said Gregory.
It is now his turn to lead Catholics as cardinal at a time of transition and hope.
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