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Cardinal Wilton Gregory, archbishop of Washington, D.C.EWTN / YouTube

December 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Historically anti-life and left-wing Wilton D. Cardinal Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, has again been appointed to the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life by Pope Francis. The Pope has assigned a further nine of the cardinals he created at a recent consistory to various positions within the Roman Curia.

The D.C. bishop, who made headlines in June after excoriating the administrators of the John Paul II National Shrine for “allowing” Trump to visit and pray, had already been a member of the dicastery since 2016. The appointment of Gregory to an office with “life” and “family” in its name might come as a shock, given his record on both topics.

While Bishop of Atlanta, Georgia, Gregory backed a campaign to outlaw abortion that made exceptions for rape and incest, despite the fact that the legislature was in a strongly pro-life position. Following Gregory’s affiliation with the compromised “pro-life” group, the legislature capitulated. Georgia Right to Life’s Dan Becker told LifeSiteNews in June that as “soon as Archbishop Gregory backed a compromised position on life, which he did, the politicians took the easy route.”

Gregory has even been quoted as saying that “birth is only the first moment of a person’s human dignity,” contravening the Catholic teaching on the nature and sanctity of human life being from conception onwards. The Washington Archdiocese later clarified that the archbishop’s “full statement makes clear that respect must span the seamless garment of life from conception to natural death.”

Furthermore, Gregory has publicly announced that he will not be denying presidential hopeful Joe Biden Holy Communion, despite the politician’s ardent and unabashed support for the pro-abortion cause. “On my part, it’s a matter of the responsibility that I have as the archbishop to be engaged and to be in dialogue with him, even in those areas where we obviously have some differences,” Gregory said.

The newly appointed cardinal has also been at odds with the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. In 2013, as bishop of Atlanta, Gregory reinstated a priest who had previously been removed for engaging in a homosexual affair. In 2018, Gregory appointed a pro-homosexualist priest as one of three “spiritual guides” in the diocese tasked with reaching out to victims of clerical sex abuse. This decision was widely panned by faithful Catholics, who noted that clerical sex abuse is overwhelmingly homosexual in nature.

Gregory also has a friendship with pro-homosexual priest Father James Martin, S.J. Gregory invited Martin to speak in the diocese of Atlanta on his book Building a Bridge. Gregory even penned a review of the pro-homosexual book, saying it is “a wonderful book that challenges the institutional church to be in dialogue with the LGBT community,” and that it “has challenged a lot of people, because you don't want to build a bridge if you already think you're right. But this is where we have to go next.”

The Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life was created by Pope Francis in 2016, merging together the now-defunct Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Pontifical Council for the Family, assuming their functions. In the process of creating the new dicastery, the Pope devised new statutes by which the dicastery would function, further revising them in 2018.

In the revised statutes, under article 9 on marriage, the Pope writes that the “Dicastery works to deepen the reflection on the relationship between men and women in their respective specificity, reciprocity, complementarity,” affirming the Church’s teaching on marriage as between one man and one woman.

It does, however, go on in article 11, §2 to include “the pastoral care of the Church also in relation to so-called ‘irregular’ situations,” referencing the famously difficult “discernment of ‘irregular’ situations” section of his 2016 Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

Later, under article 13, the Pope writes that the office “[s]upports and coordinates initiatives in favour of responsible procreation,” but does not clarify exactly what is meant by “responsible procreation.”