Archbishop Wilton Gregory has made history as the first African-American in history to be elevated to the College of Cardinals by the Catholic Church. Citing an ongoing concern for Catholics from historically disenfranchised communities, Pope Francis elevated Gregory and 12 other men, including men from Rwanda, Brunei, Chile and the Philippines. Because of Coronavirus concerns, two of the bishops were not in Rome for the ceremony, another first in church history, according to Vatican News.
Daniel Burke and Delia Gallagher of CNN write:
“Gregory, 72, already the highest-ranking African-American Catholic in US history, told CNN this week that he has been praying, writing homilies and letters to well-wishers, and reflecting on his new role. ‘It’s been a time to thank God for this unique moment in my life and in the life of the church in the United States,” Gregory said. ‘I hope it’s a sign to the African American community that the Catholic Church has a great reverence, respect and esteem for the people, for my people of color.'”
Gregory’s elevation to Cardinal means he will be one of the Pope’s closest advisers and one of only 120 pontiff’s who will elect the next Pope. A Chicago native, Gregory was not born Catholic but converted while attending parochial school. He served as a Bishop in Belleville, IL and Atlanta and Archbishop in Washington, DC before being elevated to College of Cardinals.
The Pope prayed for the new Cardinals to stay on the Lord’s road.
This post was curated by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D. Follow Nsenga on Twitter @Ntellectual.