Pope Francis announces first African-American cardinal

Pope Francis has named 13 new cardinals, including Washington DC Archbishop Wilton Gregory. He will also be the first African-American prelate to wear the coveted red hat.

Pope Francis made this announcement from his studio window, looking out to St. Peter’s Square. In the said ceremony, the pope said 13 new bishops would officially elevate to their new statuses. The highly-anticipated conduct of the event is on November 28, 2020. He previously headed the diocese of Atlanta.

The other 13 cardinals were also given their new statuses. They were Maltese prelate Monsignor Mario Grech; Monsignor Marcello Semeraro, an Italian serving as prefect of the Vatican office that runs the saint-making process; and Bishop Cornelius Sim – the apostolic vicar of Brunei.

Joining them will be the Italian archbishop of Siena and nearby towns in Tuscany, Augusto Lojudice, the retired bishop of San Cristobal de las Casas, Monsignor Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, and an Italian former Vatican diplomat, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi.

LGBTQ supporter

The LGBTQ advocates in the United States highly praised Mr. Gregory’s selection. The pontiff supported their right and civil unions for gay couples. In the diocese of Atlanta, he wrote affirmingly about civil rights to gay couples. In his column about his conversations with Catholic parents of LGBTQ children, he showed his support and affirmations.

Other cardinals

Other new cardinals include the long-time papal preacher at the Vatican, Italian Reverend Raniero Cantalamessa, Kigali Archbishop Antoine Kambanda, Capiz Archbishop Jose Fuerte Advincula, and Santiago Archbishop Celestino Aos.

The Italian archbishop of Siena and nearby towns in Tuscany, Augusto Lojudice, the retired bishop of San Cristobal de las Casas, Monsignor Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, and an Italian former Vatican diplomat, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, will join them.

Another Franciscan who has been elevated is Friar Mauro Gambetti was in charge of the Sacred Convent in Assisi.

The pope reflected his belief in helping the poor by naming the former director Reverend Enrico Feroci, a cardinal of the Rome Catholic charity Caritas.

Mr. Gregory, who was picked by Pope Francis last year, was also appointed to lead the US capital’s prestigious diocese. He served three times as the head of the US Conference of Bishops.

Nine of the new cardinals are younger than 80 and will be eligible to elect the next pontiff. Washington DC Archbishop Wilton Gregory’s election to the Cardinal is a significant breakthrough point or the Black Americans in the United States amidst the Black Lives Matter movement.

Image courtesy of Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock

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