Tags: Joe Biden | cardinal | black | biden | gregory

First Black American Cardinal Hopes for Good Relationship With Biden

wilton gregory at mass
Archbishop of Washington, Wilton D. Gregory, participates in his Installation mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, on May 21, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 27 November 2020 01:57 PM

Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C., who will formally become the first Black American to become a cardinal this weekend, said Friday he hopes to build a different relationship with Joe Biden than he did with the Trump administration, which he has frequently criticized.

"I want to begin whatever conversations ensue in a positive vein, rather than in an adversarial mode," Gregory said on "CBS This Morning" on the day before he makes history when Pope Francis formally adds him to the College of Cardinals. 

Gregory slammed President Donald Trump after he and his wife Melania visited St. John Paul II National Shrine in June on the day after protesters near St. John's Episcopal Church were forced away so the president could pose for photos near the historic landmark, calling it "baffling and reprehensible" that the church would allow the visit.

“Saint Pope John Paul II was an ardent defender of the rights and dignity of human beings..he certainly would not condone the use of tear gas and other deterrents to silence, scatter or intimidate them for a photo opportunity in front of a place of worship and peace," Gregory wrote. 

Meanwhile, Gregory told CBS Friday that he was "very much surprised" at his ascension to cardinal. 

Gregory converted to Catholicism in 1958 as his parochial school in Chicago underwent racial integration and white flight, and said that by the time he'd reached the sixth grade, there were "only about six or seven white kids left and the rest were African American students."

Gregory's ministry has focused on welcoming diversity, including among the LGBTQ+ community, and was named archbishop of Washington, D.C., the same year that one of his predecessors, Theodore McCarrick, was defrocked for sex abuse. 

At that time, the archbishop said he'd offer hope and would rebuild trust in the church, and he said Friday that the ground-breaking Vatican report "revealed some awful events and huge mistakes on the part of Church leadership."

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Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C., who will formally become the first Black American to become a cardinal this weekend, said Friday he hopes to build a different relationship with Joe Biden...
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2020-57-27
Friday, 27 November 2020 01:57 PM
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