Wilton Gregory, the 72-year-old archbishop of Washington, D.C, on Saturday (November 28) became the first African-American cardinal at a time the United States is examining race relations after a spate of police killings of unarmed blacks.
Gregory made headlined in June when he blasted President Donald Trump’s visit to a Catholic shrine in Washington, after police and soldiers used tear gas and rubber bullets to clear protesters so Trump could be photographed in front of a historic Washington church holding a Bible.
He said he found it “baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated”. Catholic conservatives condemned Gregory and sided with Trump.
In an interview with Reuters on Tuesday (November 24), Gregory said he wanted to find common ground with U.S. President-elect Joe Biden despite disagreements on issues such as abortion.
Gregory was one of the handful of new cardinals who were quarantined for about 10 days in their rooms in the Vatican guest house where the pope also lives. Cardinals from Brunei and the Philippines could not travel and will receive their ring and hat from a papal delegate.
The cardinals were installed in a ceremony, known as a consistory, that was markedly slimmed down because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
(Production: Oriana Boselli, Fabiano Franchitti)