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WASHINGTON (RNS) — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington installed Wilton Gregory as its archbishop on Tuesday (May 21), ushering in a new era for a community marred by recent scandals involving sex abuse.
Gregory, who most recently served as the archbishop of Atlanta, embarked on his new ministry during a Mass held Tuesday afternoon at Washington’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, next to the Catholic University of America. The largest Roman Catholic Church in North America, the basilica was chosen over the city’s cathedral, St. Matthew’s, to accommodate the thousands who packed the pews for the event.
Group - Catholics - Beat - Drums - Dance
After a group of charismatic Catholics beat drums and formed a dance circle outside the church shortly before the service began, Gregory processed into the sanctuary to cheers, lifting his voice with the rest of congregation as they sang the hymn “All Creatures of Our God and King.”
“I come to this almost indescribably humbling moment in my life and in my ministry filled with deep gratitude, immeasurable joy and an unwavering confidence that the risen Lord, who has guided me in my every voyage, will remain beside me as I begin my service to the people of the Archdiocese of Washington, as a fellow believer, a friend and a pastor,” Gregory said in his homily.
Gregory - Appointment - April - Wave - Excitement
Gregory’s appointment was announced in early April, triggering a wave of excitement among Washington Catholics who view him in high esteem. During his installation, he declared that he wished to follow the example of Pope Francis “to welcome the poor, the marginalized and the neglected.”
Also in attendance were a number of prominent American Catholic leaders, including Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, N.J., and Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston. Political figures, such as Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, were also spotted...
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