Pope Francis is expected to appoint Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta to serve as the next Archbishop of Washington, multiple sources have independently reported to CNA. Gregory would become the seventh Archbishop of Washington, succeeding Cardinal Donald Wuerl.
A formal announcement could come as early as next week, sources say, though it has not yet been confirmed that the archbishop has accepted the appointment. Sources in Rome and the United States told CNA that Gregory was informed of the appointment earlier this week.
The Archdiocese of Washington has technically been vacant since Cardinal Wuerl’s resignation was accepted in October 2018, though Wuerl has served as interim leader of the archdiocese since that time.The identity of Wuerl’s successor has been the subject of intense speculation over the last five months, and several prominent members of the American hierarchy were reportedly considered for the role.
One source told CNA that because Washington has been an epicenter of the Church’s sexual abuse crisis, the background of potential candidates has been subject to more exacting scrutiny than is typical for episcopal appointments.
For that reason, the source emphasized, the likely appointment of Gregory could still be subject to change, even close to the announcement, if the Holy See or Gregory himself had reason to be concerned about his ability to address the problems relating to sexual abuse and misconduct that have plagued the Washington archdiocese.
“They absolutely want to get this one right,” the source told CNA.
Read more. And stay tuned.