Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., tested negative for the coronavirus for the third time during a 10-day quarantine in Rome on Saturday morning, and a few hours later he officially became the first Black American to earn the rank of cardinal.
Gregory was among 11 men who traveled to the Vatican after Pope Francis had chosen to elevate them to the College of Cardinals last month. There were 13 new cardinals selected, but two opted out of going to Rome over coronavirus concerns.
The 72-year-old Gregory will be eligible to vote for the next pope, should it be necessary, until he turns 80.
Per The Washington Post, Gregory said he hopes to be a "voice for the African American community in the pope's ear," adding that his selection is an "important recognition that the African American, the Black Catholic community, is an important component within the larger, universal church."