Published October 25, 2020
ATLANTA–Archbishop Gregory Hartmayer, OFM Conv., wrote a personal note to Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Washington, D.C. the morning of Oct. 25, congratulating his predecessor on appointment to the College of Cardinals. Archbishop Hartmayer assured Archbishop Gregory of his continued prayers and thanked him for his faithful leadership to the church.
Publicly, Archbishop Hartmayer issued the following statement regarding the appointment of Archbishop Gregory:
“I’m grateful to Pope Francis for recognizing the extraordinary contributions that Archbishop Wilton Gregory has made to the American Catholic Church since becoming a bishop 37 years ago.
The entire Archdiocese of Atlanta celebrates this recognition of the archbishop’s leadership. The Catholic Church in the United States and we rejoice in the choice of the archbishop’s elevation to cardinal by Pope Francis.
Being chosen as the first African American cardinal from the United States indicates the pope’s awareness of the needs and gifts of the multicultural Catholic population throughout the United States.
As his successor in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, I am particularly grateful for his leadership, mentoring and fraternity.
During his 15 years as Archbishop of Atlanta, Archbishop Gregory worked closely with the auxiliary bishops, priests, laity, deacons and religious in providing a Pastoral Plan for the future of the archdiocese. He worked closely with the interreligious leadership of the various churches in metropolitan Atlanta.
An example of his servant leadership is most recently seen in his acceptance of the invitation of Pope Francis to become the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington. The cardinal-designate is also known for his personal interest in promoting Catholic education throughout the archdiocese.
Nationally, Archbishop Gregory is perhaps best known for his leadership United States Conference of Catholic Bishops where he played a key role in the development of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in 2002.
It is clear that the talents and accomplishments of Archbishop Gregory will be a part of his legacy as a leader not only in the United States, but also as a member of the College of Cardinals who attend to significant issues of dioceses throughout the world.”