Archbishop Wilton Gregory

Archbishop Wilton Gregory 73 becomes the first Black American cardina

Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington D.C., became the first African-American cardinal on Saturday when Pope Francis raised 13 new cardinals to the highest rank in the Catholic hierarchy.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory

He said ahead of the ceremony that he viewed his appointment as “an affirmation of Black Catholics in the United States, the heritage of faith and fidelity that we represent.”

Archbishop Wilton Gregory

If you’ve heard of Gregory, it might have been this summer, as Black Lives Matter protesters marched through the capital, and were violently forced away so President Trump — Bible in hand — could pose in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church. The next day, when the president visited the St. John Paul II National Shrine, Gregory called it baffling and reprehensible.

Gregory, the first African-American cardinal, told the Associated Press that he viewed his appointment as “an affirmation of Black Catholics in the United States, the heritage of faith and fidelity that we represent.”

Archbishop Wilton Gregory

Gregory, 73, was picked by Francis to lead the prestigious Washington D.C. archdiocese last year. He was born in Chicago, living with his family on the city’s South Side in the early years of his life. He attended Niles College in Chicago, and attended seminary at St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein.