Archbishop Gregory pledges openness at ‘defining moment’ in Washington archdiocese

Catholic News Agency | 5/21/2019 | Staff
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Washington D.C., May 21, 2019 / 12:51 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Wilton Gregory expressed “deep gratitude and immeasurable joy” as he took charge of the nation’s capital see Tuesday.

“I want to be a welcoming shepherd who laughs with you whenever we can, who cries with you whenever we must, and who honestly confesses his faults and failings before you when I commit them, not when they are revealed,” Gregory said to applause during his May 21 installation Mass as Archbishop of Washington, D.C. in Washington’s National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Moment - Faith - Community - Gregory

“We stand at a defining moment for this local faith community,” Gregory said.

“Our recent sorrow and shame do not define us; rather, they serve to chasten and strengthen us to face tomorrow with spirits undeterred.”

Installation - Archbishop - Washington - Moment - Gregory

Calling his installation as the seventh Archbishop of Washington an “indescribably humbling moment,” Gregory pledged himself to a new era of openness in Washington.

The archbishop’s installation Mass was presided over by apostolic nuncio Archbishop Christoph Pierre and attended by eight cardinals, more than 50 bishops, some 300 priests, and nearly 100 deacons.

US - Bishops - Conference - President - Daniel

U.S. bishops’ conference president Daniel DiNardo, reportedly still recovering from a March stroke, was not in attendance.

The celebration was held at the National Shrine instead of Washington’s St. Matthew’s Cathedral in order to accommodate the crowds, numbering about 3,000.

Members - Faithful - Basilica - Flags - Banners

Members of the faithful from around the archdiocese gathered outside the basilica waving flags and banners of welcome, and singing before the Mass began.

A Gospel choir led the music during the Mass.

Scandals - Church - Washington - World - Gregory

Acknowledging the scandals that have rocked the Church, both in Washington and around the world, Gregory said, “We have been tossed about by an insult turbulent moment in our own faith journeys recently and for far too long.”

“We clerics and hierarchs have irrefutably been the source of the current tempest.”

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Recalling the image of the apostles’ fear on...
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