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Gregory Picked As 1st African-American Cardinal

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WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Pope Francis named Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory as a cardinal on Sunday morning. Gregory was among 12 new cardinals chosen worldwide. 

Gregory is the first African-American to be elevated to the position of cardinal within the Catholic Church.

The 72-year-old was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1973. He was made an auxiliary bishop in 1983 and the bishop of Belleville, Illinois in 1994. In 2005, he was made archbishop of Atlanta. Gregory was appointed archbishop of Washington last year.

Cardinal-elect Gregory will will be elevated to the College of Cardinals at a November 28 consistory at the Vatican.

Cardinals are chosen by the Pope and serve as his advisors and assistants in the administration of the church. Cardinal is the second-highest rank within the church, just below the Pope.

Gregory said, “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.”

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