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Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory

ANALYSIS 

October 26, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – On Sunday, Pope Francis announced he is elevating Washington, D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory, to the rank of cardinal.  

The announcement came just ten days ahead of the U.S. presidential election and the day before the U.S. Senate vote to confirm President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Pope Francis, who cited election proximity when denying a meeting to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in September, also took veiled shots at Trump in a new documentary in which he was featured. That documentary, Francesco, was released on October 22.  

Gregory, arguably one of Trump’s most vocal critics in the American Catholic hierarchy, made headlines when he harshly condemned the president’s June visit to D.C.’s Saint John Paul II National Shrine. The visit had been long-planned. Gregory had been invited, although his statement condemning Trump and the shrine did not mention that. 

“I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles, which call us to defend the rights of all people even those with whom we might disagree,” said Gregory in a statement released the very hour of Trump’s visit.   

Gregory will be the first black U.S. cardinal, but one of the most deeply anti-family, anti-life cardinals in history. Listed below are Gregory’s worst assaults on marriage, the sanctity of life, and the Church over his long, scandalous career as a prelate.  

Clerical sexual abuse

  • Gregory still unabashedly refers to the abuser-protecting Cardinal Joseph Bernardin as his “mentor” and “father.” 
    • Gregory was first ordained bishop in 1983 by then-archbishop Bernardin of Chicago and served as his auxiliary for years.
    • Bernardin, himself accused of abuse, covered up numerous homosexual abusers and rapists while head of the Chicago archdiocese, as revealed in 2014. 
  • At his 2019 installation Mass, Gregory described disgraced Cardinal Donald Wuerl as his “cherished friend” and “a true Christian gentleman.” 
  • Gregory authorized, and allowed then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick to help craft, the original 2002 Dallas Charter. The charter featured an ambiguous “zero tolerance” policy on sex abuse and rejected sanctions for bishops – and it was revealed in 2018 that McCarrick himself was a serial sex abuser. 
  • Gregory was held in contempt of court in 2004 for refusing to release records of an accused priest. 
  • While archbishop of Atlanta, he withheld names of credibly-accused Georgia priests for years
  • Gregory lobbied successfully against Georgia’s failed “Hidden Predator Act” of 2018, which would have extended the statute of limitations in order to prosecute sexual abuse crimes. 

Abortion

  • Gregory championed a “pro-life” group that avowed abortion exceptions for rape and incest. He drove Catholics away from the state’s Right to Life chapter, splintering Georgia’s pro-life movement and facilitating abortions of the most vulnerable babies. 
  • Gregory referred to birth as the “first moment of a person’s human dignity” in June 2020
  • Under Gregory’s leadership, the Georgia Catholic Bishops Conference denounced efforts to enshrine unborn personhood into Georgia’s state constitution. Gregory had done so earlier, as well. 
  • As head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and in tandem with Cardinal McCarrick, Gregory withheld and mischaracterized a 2003 Vatican memo mandating that pro-abortion politicians not receive Communion. 
  • In 2002, he appointed partial-birth abortion supporter Leon Panetta to the USCCB National Review Board, calling him a “faithful Catholic.”
  • Gregory presided over a funeral Mass in September 2019 for reporter Cokie Roberts, an ardent partial-birth abortion supporter, at D.C.’s cathedral. He allowed Nancy Pelosi to deliver the eulogy. 
    • Roberts explicitly advocated for partial-birth abortion and mocked its critics. 
    • In his homily, Gregory called Roberts a “wise woman of faith,” an “extraordinary, professional servant of the truth” who “believed in the word of God.” 

Homosexuality and transgenderism

  • In 2013, Gregory reinstated a homosexual Atlanta priest he had previously removed because a sexual relationship. 
  • Also in Atlanta, Gregory hosted the retreats of a dissident pro-LGBT Catholic group at his chancery and celebrated mass for them in 2014 and 2015. 
  • Denounced Georgia’s 2018 HB 757, which would have protected pastors from facing criminal penalties for not performing homosexual or transgender weddings.” 
  • Invited pro-homsosexualist Father James Martin to speak in his archdiocese multiple times in 2018. 
  • Gregory appointed a homosexuality-affirming priest as spiritual advisor for Atlanta abuse victims in 2018, which was seen as a slap in the face to sex abuse survivors who suffered at the hands of predatory homosexual priests.
  • Has allowed the pro-LGBT ministry of a D.C. priest, including his dissident retreat with a group blacklisted by the Vatican. 
  • Tacitly affirmed the transgenderism of a “transgender Catholic” at a public event in 2019

Marriage and female ‘ordination’

  • Signaled openness to giving adulterers Holy Communion with his support of Amoris Laetitia, saying that the encyclical “challenges the church and its pastors to move beyond thinking everything is black and white.”  
    • He was “enthused” with the Pope’s apparent support for “the tremendous importance” of “the diversity of family situations.”  
  • Participated in far-left Cardinal Blase Cupich’s Amoris Laetitia symposium and seminars at Boston College in 2017 and 2018.
    • Events featured supportive voices for female ordination, homosexuality, and gender ideology, among other things. 
  • Gregory was the keynote speaker of the 2017 annual conference of the Association of United State Catholic priests, which advocates for female ordination and “priest-less parishes.” 

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