Archbishop Wilton Gregory offers a blessing for police and first responders during a 2015 mass at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM
Photo: Bob Andres/bandres@ajc.com
Photo: Bob Andres/bandres@ajc.com

Atlanta Catholic Archbishop Wilton Gregory: Things to know

Gregory was named leader of the north Georgia Catholic church archdiocese in 2005

Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory has been named the next archbishop of Washington, D.C

He has been leader of the Catholics in Atlanta and north Georgia since 2005, moving from the Diocese of Belleville, Ill. 

> RELATED: Read the Vatican announcement about Archbishop Gregory’s appointment to DC archdiocese.

Here are some things to know about Gregory. 

Wilton Daniel Gregory is 71 (born Dec. 7, 1947). He is from Chicago and was ordained a Catholic priest there in 1973, according to the Atlanta Catholic web site, archatl.com.

The Atlanta Archdiocese 

The Atlanta archdiocese covers 69 north Georgia counties, including Athens and all of metro Atlanta. It covers an area with an estimated 1.2 million Catholics in 103 parishes and missions, according to the church.  

Past Leader of U.S. Bishops 

Archbishop Wilton Gregory offers a blessing to first responders at the Cathedral of Christ the King. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM
Photo: Bob Andres/bandres@ajc.com

Gregory was president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2001-2004. During his term, in June 2002, the bishops implemented the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” which lays out a comprehensive set of procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy, according to the USCCB website. It also includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability and prevention of future acts of abuse.

The charter has been revised since its orginal publication, most recently in 2018.

Catholic church sex abuse cases 

Gregory has written and spoken about the church’s response to sex abuse allegations. In August 2018, he wrote an open letter to Atlanta Catholics following a Pennsylvania grand jury report that outlined decades of sexual abuse by priests and cover-ups by church authorities. 

All Catholics, he wrote, “including so many good and generous priests, are rightly angered, confused, and embarrassed by this testimony that the leadership of the church failed to care for our people with compassion and honesty.”  

Gregory as a writer 

He writes a weekly column in the Atlanta Catholic newspaper, The Georgia Bulletin.

AJC reporter Shelia M. Poole and AJC archives contributed to this article.

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Atlanta’s Wilton D. Gregory accepts position as Washington DC archbishop

Reports: Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory to take DC job

Catholic News Agency: Gregory to be named archbishop of Washington 

Atlanta archdiocese releases names of those “credibly” accused of abuse 

Pennsylvania report on Catholic abuse cases draws reactions in Atlanta 

Lobbyist for archdiocese tried to gut childhood sexual abuse bill 

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