Alumni Association of The Pontifical North American College

Archbishop Wilton Gregory named Cardinal by Pope Francis

Archbishop Gregory, Archbishop of Washington DC, named first black cardinal of the United States

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Wilton Daniel Gregory (born December 7, 1947) is an American prelate of the Catholic Church who is the Archbishop of Washington. He was the Archbishop of Atlanta, from 2005 to 2019, the Bishop of Belleville, Illinois, from 1994 to 2004, and Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago from 1983 to 1994. He was president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) from 2001 to 2004. 

 

 Gregory, 72, is one of 13 men who will assume the rank of cardinal in ceremonies Nov. 28. Cardinals rank only behind the pope in church hierarchy, and together they vote to elect popes. Cardinals wear red to signify their willingness to shed blood in service of the church.

“With a very grateful and humble heart, I thank Pope Francis for this appointment which will allow me to work more closely with him in caring for Christ’s Church," Gregory said in a statement.

Gregory made national news in June for comments after Trump and first lady Melania Trump's held a brief photo opportunity at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine – a day after Trump's controversial visit to St. John's Episcopal Church.