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Archbishop Wilton Gregory to become first African-American cardinal

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Gregory to receive his biretta in Rome, Saturday.

Washington D.C. Archbishop, Wilton Gregory will become a prince of the Roman Catholic Church on Saturday during a ceremony at the Vatican. Archbishop Gregory will be the first African-American man elevated to such a post. 

Archbishop Wilton Gregory will become a cardinal on Saturday, the first African-American elevated to such a post.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory will become a cardinal on Saturday, the first African-American elevated to such a post.

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington D.C. will become a prince of the Church on Saturday. Gregory is the first African-American man to be made a cardinal of the Church. 

The moment is historic because of the United States' long legacy of racism against African-Americans. It is arguably for this reason why so few African-American Catholics have been elevated to high posts in the Church. This is now changing. Pope Francis elevated Gregory to the post of Archbishop just 18 months ago, and he will now become a Cardinal. 

Archbishop Gregory is one of a new generation of cardinals. His views are similar to those of Pope Francis, but he is also described as a moderate who stresses dialogue between liberal and conservative members of the Church. Pope Francis is making a point to elevate people who reflect the diversity of the faithful. Pope Francis is elevating people of many races, languages, and nationalities to the College of Cardinals.

As for Archbishop Gregory, he is not being elevated on the basis of race. He has earned his biretta. He is noted for his work on improving the vetting process for bishops and cardinals. That process required strengthening due to the pedophilia scandal within the Church. 

The ceremony, known as a consistory, will take place on Saturday, but strict social distancing protocols will be enforced. The ceremony will be much smaller than normal as the Vatican seeks to protect all attendees, including the 83-year-old pontiff. Archbishop Gregory's own family will not be in attendance due to the restrictions. Meanwhile, Gregory himself has remained under strict quarantine. 

After eight years of Pope Francis' pontificate, the College of Cardinals is now made up mostly of individuals appointed by him. 

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