1. SOUNDBITE (English) Most Rev. Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington Archdiocese
"With faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the love of God in my heart, I do accept the pastoral care of the people of God in the Archdiocese of Washington. I resolve to serve faithfully the spiritual needs of this local church."
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Most Rev. Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington Archdiocese
"We stand at a defining moment for this local faith community. Our hearts are filled with hope and eagerness the storied history of this great archdiocese is a gift to the church in the United States of America. Our recent sorrow and shame do not define us. Rather they serve to chasten and strengthen us. To face tomorrow with spirits. Undeterred."
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Most Rev. Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington Archdiocese
"Cardinal Wuerl has been and remains a cherished friend, an Episcopal colleague now for many years. He is, above all, a true Christian gentleman, and I thank him publicly and sincerely for his warm welcome, his gentle demeanor, his support and his affirmation."
The Rev. Wilton D. Gregory was installed Tuesday as the seventh archbishop of Washington following a pair of high-profile sexual abuse cases that ensnared his two predecessors.
The 71-year-old Gregory, previously the archbishop of Atlanta, becomes the first African American to lead the Washington archdiocese.
Gregory replaces Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who resigned in October amid allegations that he covered up multiple abuse scandals while serving as a bishop in Pittsburgh.
Wuerl had replaced Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was defrocked by the pope after a Vatican-backed investigation concluded he sexually abused children and adults during his time as a priest in New York and a bishop in New Jersey.
It was the first time a cardinal had been dismissed from the priesthood for abuse.
Despite his resignation, Wuerl remains in good standing in the church and served in a caretaker role while the search for his replacement was conducted.
Gregory, in his remarks, directly addressed the recent scandals.
"We stand at a defining moment for this local faith community," he said. "Our recent sorrows and shame do not define us. Rather they serve to chasten and strengthen us."
Calling his installation "an indescribably humbling moment," Gregory pledged to create an open and inclusive environment.
Gregory is credited for his leadership of the U.S. church during a moment of crisis. As president of the U.S. bishops conference, he persuaded church leaders to adopt toughened penalties for abusers in 2002.
In Atlanta, Gregory was embroiled briefly in a scandal of his own in 2014 after the archdiocese used $2.2 million in donations to buy and renovate a swank new home for the archbishop.
The mansion was later sold, and Gregory apologized following an outcry from parishioners.
A native of Chicago, Gregory takes over a relatively small archdiocese that has always held outsized importance due to its location in the nation's capital.
Washington archbishops are traditionally elevated to cardinals; if that happens, Gregory would become the first African American cardinal.
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