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.”
The selection of Gregory won praise from LGBTQ advocates in the United States, days after Pope Francis grabbed headlines for voicing support for civil unions for gay couples.
Other new cardinals include an Italian who is the longtime papal preacher at the Vatican, the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, who is a Franciscan friar; the Kigali, Rwanda, Archbishop Antoine Kambanda; the Capiz, Philippines, Archbishop Jose Feurte Advincula, and the Santiago, Chile, Archbishop Celestino Aos Braco.