Pope Francis names Washington, DC-area Archbishop first African American cardinal
Pope Francis is breaking new ground for the Roman Catholic Church in the past week, his voiced support for civil unions for LGBTQ people, and then on Sunday, he named the first African American cardinal Here's NPR's Sylvia Poggioli from Rome. Speaking from his window overlooking ST Peter's Square, Francis announced Wilton Gregory among the 13 new cardinals. He has chosen Monsignor with Gregory. Relativistic over the Washington The 72 year old archbishop of Washington, has been widely praised for his handling of the sex abuse crisis that has rocked the Catholic Church. As head of the U. S Bishops conference in the early two thousand's, he helped develop the church's zero tolerance policy that has set an example for the Catholic Church in the rest of the world. The archbishop has also been praised for his more inclusive treatment of LGBTQ Catholics. An outspoken civil rights activists. The African American prelates, elevation comes as U. S society is reckoning with systemic racism. He's reminded the church that black lives are sacred Father, Brian Massengale, who is black, is a professor of theology at Fordham University. It's a powerful affirmation of The presence of African American Catholics of our faithfulness in the church, and, frankly, that were group who have kept faith with the church That's not often than faithful to US. Archbishop Gregory made headlines this summer when he blasted President Trump's photo opportunity hoisting a Bible at a Washington Episcopal Church. After police and soldiers used tear gas and rubber bullets to clear protesters. And he criticized the president's visit the following day to the Saint John Paul, the second national shrine, saying, quote it's baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated. Bishop sheltered Fabray, one of a handful of African American Catholic bishops has worked closely with Gregory as a black bishop and in the name of black Catholics across the country to know that Someone who looks like us is going to have direct access to the mind and heart of the pope. I think that's a tremendous, tremendous gift. The new Cardinals will be elevated in a formal ceremony at the Vatican on November 28th. You will then be 128 Cardinals Under the age of 80 eligible to elect the next Pope Francis has now appointed almost 60% of them, raising the chances that the next pope will be closely in line with his own policies.