VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has named Washington D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory as one of 13 new cardinals.
Gregory will become the first Black U.S. prelate to earn the coveted red hat.
In a surprise announcement to the faithful in St. Peter’s Square, Francis said Sunday that the 13 churchmen would be elevated to a cardinal’s rank on Nov. 28. They also include an Italian who is the long-time papal preacher at the Vatican, and churchmen from Rwanda, the Philippines and Chile.
The selections of Gregory and of a Vatican bishop from Malta won praise from LGBTQ advocates in the United States, days after Pope Francis grabbed headlines for voicing support for civil unions for gay couples.