It is with great anticipation for the future that I welcome the news that Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory as the seventh Archbishop of Washington, and by virtue of his office, the Chancellor of The Catholic University of America.
The Archbishop-elect brings many gifts and valuable experience to the nation’s capital, where he will serve as a shepherd to a Church in crisis. He served as the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops during the sexual abuse crisis in 2002, and under his leadership the bishops implemented the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. I look forward to cooperating with him on efforts that seek to combat the evil of sexual abuse and to contribute to the renewal and rebuilding of the Church.
For the past 14 years, Archbishop-elect Gregory has served as a member of the Board of Trustees, and now a Fellow, of Catholic University. Over the years I have known him to be a true servant of the Church, and to live out his episcopal motto, “We are the Lord’s.” I am confident he will continue to serve well Catholic University as Chancellor, representing this University in relations with the Holy See, and in particular the Congregation for Catholic Education.
I want to express the University‘s gratitude to Cardinal Donald Wuerl for his many years of dedicated service to Catholic University. He is an alumnus of the University and its seminary, Theological College, where he was a Basselin Scholar. He has served faithfully as Chancellor since 2006, and he helped bring about a corporate reorganization of the University in 2017. Since then he has served as chair of the Fellows of the University. His relationship with us has been characterized by generous service, loyalty, and fidelity to our mission.
My prayers are with Archbishop-elect Gregory as he assumes a new role in this critical moment for the Church. As Pope Francis said at the conclusion of the February summit on sexual abuse, we are only just beginning to “combat this evil that strikes at the very heart” of the Church’s mission. I look forward to working in conjunction with the archbishop of Washington, and all the bishops, to carry out ”an all-out battle against the abuse of minors” both within the Church and in the world at large.