Rev. Wilton Gregory installed as new archbishop of Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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. On Tuesday, he gave the opening remarks introducing Gregory. “All of us here recognize his many gifts and welcome him as a faith-filled pastor,” Wuerl said.

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