Pope Francis has installed 13 new high-ranking cardinals, including the first African American, and increased Pontiff’s influence in the group, which will one day elect his successor.
Wilton Gregory, the 722-year-old archbishop of Washington DC, has become the first African-American cardinal to testify about racial relations in the United States after police brutally murdered black people.
He was the only American to be promoted to the College of Cardinals on Saturday. Brunei and Rwanda got their first cardinal.
Gregory, already the highest-ranking African-American Catholic in U.S. history, made headlines in June when police and soldiers used teargas and rubber bullets to clear protesters in front of a picture he held in front of a historic Washington church. The Bible
Gregory said he would “allow any Catholic privilege or abuse to allow himself to be so severely abused and manipulated”.
Catholic conservatives condemned Gregory and sided with Trump.
Gregory said last week that he wanted to find a common ground with President-elect Joe Biden, despite differences over issues such as abortion.
He said he wanted to work with the upcoming U.S. administration “where we can find things we can do together to improve the American community, for the people of Archdiocese in general. I want to be someone who engages in people’s conversations.”
The event, known as the Consistency, was significantly reduced due to the Kovid-1p epidemic.
Instead of the usual thousand, only 10 guests per cardinal were allowed in St. Peter’s Basilica because the pope gave the men their rings and the traditional red hat, known as the Biratta.
Nine of the 13 are under the age of 60, and are eligible to enter into a secret agreement to choose the next pope after the death or resignation of Francis.
This was Francis’ seventh concentration since the 2013 election. He has now elected 127 major voters, most of whom share his views on more inclusive and outgoing churches.
So far, he has appointed 18 cardinals from countries that had none, almost all of them in the developing world.
Although Europe still has the largest share of cardinal electors, at 41%, it dropped to 52% in 2013 when Francis became the first Latin American pope.
Through each concentricity, Francis increased the chances of his successor becoming another non-European, where the church was built in a place where it was growing faster than a small minority or stable west.
Nine new selectors came from Italy, Malta, Rwanda, the United States, the Philippines, Chile, Brunei and Mexico.
In his holiness Francis told men that they should look to God, avoid all forms of corruption, and not succumb to a “worldly spirit” who could go with the prestige and power of their new position.
Everyone in the Basilica except the Pope wore masks and every new cardinal removed them when they knelt before him for investment.
Gregory was one of a handful of new cardinals who were also kept separate from the Pope in his room at the Vatican Guest House for about 10 days. The cardinals of Brunei and the Philippines could not travel and they will receive their rings and hats from a Ripple representative.
The church non-elect was given the honor after a long service to the church over 70 years old. Most notable is Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, an Italian-American who has worked around the world and is one of the church’s top experts on immigration.