Worthy of Elevation

Catholic New York – Archdiocese of New York

November 5, 2020

First, we want to offer our heartiest congratulations to Cardinal-elect Wilton D. Gregory, the Archbishop of Washington who will become the first African-American cardinal at a Nov 28 consistory at the Vatican.

That alone is worth rejoicing.

The 3 million African-American Catholics in the United States have been faithful members of the Church for generations, and the elevation of Cardinal-elect Gregory by Pope Francis is an important recognition of their place in the Catholic family.

The honor also recognizes the spiritual gifts and leadership skills that the cardinal-elect has demonstrated in his 47 years as a priest, a bishop and an archbishop.

Most notably, as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in the early 2000s when the clergy sexual abuse scandals escalated, he steered his fellow bishops through the most serious crisis ever faced by the modern American Church.

We’d also like to congratulate Cardinal-elect Silvano Tomasi, a member of the Scalabrinian order who served in New York for many years and will also receive the red hat at the Nov. 28 consistory. Although he turned 80 last month and therefore will not be eligible to vote for pope in the next conclave, his elevation is nevertheless an appreciation of his long and faithful service to the Church.

He was a founder of the Center for Migration Studies based on Staten Island and also served a term as the U.S. Provincial of the Scalabrinians, based in Manhattan.

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