Black D.C. archbishop appointed cardinal by Pope Francis

Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church (Photo: Jeon Han / CC BY-SA 2.0)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory is set to become the first Black U.S. prelate to assume the rank of cardinal in the Catholic Church.

It’s a historic appointment that comes months after nationwide demonstrations against racial injustice.

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Gregory’s ascension, announced on Sunday by Pope Francis, elevates a leader who has drawn praise for his handling of the sexual abuse scandal that has roiled the church.

The Washington-area archbishop also has spoken out in recent days about the importance of Catholic leaders working to combat the sin of racial discrimination.