Pope names 13 new cardinals, including first Black US prelate

The timing of Gregory's rise to cardinal is noteworthy, coming in the thick of increased U.S. attention on racial injustice following the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minnesota this year.

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October 26, 2020 - 9:21 AM

Reverend Wilton D. Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, celebrates an Easter Sunday mass in front of empty pews at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., on April 12, 2020, as the Basilica remained closed to the public due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Photo by (Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday named 13 new cardinals, including Washington D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who would become the first Black U.S. prelate to earn the coveted red hat. 

In a surprise announcement from his studio window to faithful standing below in St. Peter’s Square, Francis said the churchmen would be elevated to a cardinal’s rank in a ceremony on Nov. 28. 

Francis asked for prayers so the new cardinals “may help me in my ministry as bishop of Rome for the good of all God’s faithful holy people.”

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