“With a very grateful and humble heart, I thank Pope Francis for this appointment which will allow me to work more closely with him in caring for Christ’s Church,” Gregory said in a statement issued by the archdiocese.
The new cardinals will bring the total number of cardinal electors to 128, of whom 73 will have been appointed by Pope Francis.
"Justice is a divine characteristic of God himself. Whether we are Christian, Jewish or Muslim in heritage—we all believe that God is perfectly just and always merciful," Washington's archbishop said.
"We must all take responsibility to reject language that ridicules, condemns, or vilifies another person because of their race, religion, gender, age, culture or ethnic background," the archbishop said.
During his installation ceremony as the new archbishop of Washington, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory acknowledged the struggles that have recently impacted the Catholic Church and urged Catholic leaders and laity not to lose faith.