Pope appoints pro-LGBT Wilton Gregory to Archdiocese of Washington. Catholic laity protest
Urge Pope to stop appointment of pro-LGBT Archbishop Gregory to DC. Sign the petition here.
WASHINGTON April 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Vatican announced today that Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta will be the successor of embattled Cardinal Donald Wuerl to lead the Archdiocese of Washington D.C., one of the most prominent sees in the United States.
Numerous faithful Catholic laity are outraged over the appointment of Gregory. The Archbishop has a history of showing support for homosexuality, contrary to Catholic teaching, along with other unorthodox positions.
The group “Catholic Laity for Orthodox Bishops and Reform” had urged the Holy See to “seek out a worthy candidate who is without ties to Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, Mr. Theodore McCarrick, or Donald Cardinal Wuerl.”
“The Archdiocese of Washington needs a worthy shepherd with a proven record of teaching and practicing the fullness of the Catholic Faith. We need a robust leader for Catholicism, with the Heart of Christ, focused on the Gospel message, not liberal politics,” the group said earlier this week when rumors of Gregory’s appointment surfaced.
In a press release today, the group said that it “continues to ask for a worthy shepherd who will be a robust teacher of the Catholic Faith and defender of Catholic morals.”
“We also continue to seek for the laity better communication with the hierarchy and the Holy See. We are ready to work with Archbishop Gregory to achieve these goals,” it stated.
Archbishop Gregory said he was grateful to the Pope for the appointment.
“I am deeply grateful to Pope Francis for this appointment to serve the Archdiocese of Washington and to work with all of the members of this faith community," he said. "I look forward to encountering and listening to the people of this local Church as we address the issues that face us and continue to grow in the Love of Christ that sustains us."
Gregory’s support for the LGBT agenda is of public record. As head of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Gregory has displayed an uncritical willingness to accept LGBT ideology. His actions include:
• Personally inviting pro-gay Vatican adviser Fr. James Martin to give a speech titled “Showing Welcome and Respect in Our Parishes to LGBT Catholics” at both St. Thomas More Parish and at Atlanta’s Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
• Permitting the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (Atlanta, GA) to act as a center for LGBT events, including LGBT potluck socials and participating in the city’s Pride Parade.
• Appointing a pro-gay priest who heads a gay-affirming parish to be diocesan spiritual director for victims of sexual abuse by clergy.
• Allowing since 2014 the pro-homosexual and pro-transgenderism “Catholic” group, Fortunate and Faithful Families, to hold retreats in his Atlanta Chancery, while personally saying Mass for the group.
Gregory’s actions also reveal a lack of orthodoxy to Catholic teaching in other areas. These include:
• Giving the keynote address in 2017 at the Association of United States Catholic Priests (AUSCP) conference. The group backs the ordination of women to the priesthood and is open to the idea of the Church approving the use of contraception.
• Signaling an openness to allow divorced and “remarried” Catholics to receive communion contrary to perennial Catholic teaching. He was one of two featured speakers at a gathering of liberal theologians and 15 bishops at Boston College in October 2017. The event, “Understanding Amoris Laetitia,” was hosted by progressive Cardinal Cupich. Gregory appeared to endorse communion for divorced and remarried Catholics when he said Amoris Laetitia “challenges the church and its pastors to move beyond thinking that everything is black and white, so that we sometimes close off the way of grace and growth.”
• Misrepresenting — along with now defrocked former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Gregory — the contents of a letter from Cardinal Ratzinger, then the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which counseled American prelates to deny Communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion during the 2004 presidential campaign season. They instead paraphrased the letter, telling their brother bishops that they should exercise their own judgment regarding pro-abortion politicos. The U.S. bishops ended up voting 183-6 to leave the decision up to each diocese.
Archbishop Gregory has served in various important roles in the United States. In 2001, he was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and was vice president under Bishop Joseph Fiorenza for three years thereafter. He joined other bishops in drafting and implementing the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” the so-called Dallas Charter in response to the sexual abuse crisis. In 2006, he was inducted into the Martin Luther King Board of Preachers at Morehouse College, Atlanta.
Catholic laity are already signing a petition to Pope Francis asking that he stop the appointment.
“Faithful and orthodox American Catholics oppose this appointment and call on the Holy Father to directly intervene to stop this from going forward,” states the petition launched by LifeSiteNews.
“Knowingly installing a man who flagrantly departs from Catholic moral teaching to Washington, D.C., suggests that the Vatican doesn't seem to care about listening to church-going American Catholics,” it adds.