Pope appoints first African-American cardinal, D.C. archbishop

KATE FELDMAN, New York Daily News
·1 min read

Washington D.C’s first Black archbishop is now also the first African-American cardinal.

Pope Francis announced 13 new cardinals Sunday in a surprise declaration from his window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, including Wilton Gregory, who was tapped as archbishop in the nation’s capital last year.

Gregory, 73, previously led the Archdiocese of Atlanta and has spoken forcefully about the need for improved race relations in the Church. He replaced Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who resigned in October 2018 over criticism of his handling of sexual assault allegations.

“Ours is the task and the privilege of advancing the goals that were so eloquently expressed 57 years ago by such distinguished voices on that day,” Gregory said during an August Mass that marked the 57th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King’s March on Washington. “Men and women, young and old, people of every racial and ethnic background are needed in this effort.”

Nine of the 13 newly appointed cardinals are under the age of 80, making them eligible to vote in the next conclave to select Francis' successor.

Other promotions include Monsignor Marcello Semeraro, the Italian prefect in charge of sainthoods, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, an Italian former Vatican diplomat, and Mauro Gambetti, a Franciscan friar and custodian of the Holy Convent of Assisi.

It’s unclear how the concistory, the formal ceremony in which the religious leaders are made archbishops, will proceed given the coronavirus pandemic.

With News Wire Services


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