D.C. Archbishop Elevated to Cardinal - NBC4 Washington

D.C. Archbishop Elevated to Cardinal

Wuerl and 23 other men called to join the College of Cardinals



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    WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 20: Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl stands inside of St Matthew's Cathedral after saying mass, on October 20, 2010 in Washington, DC. Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop Wuerl and 23 other Catholic leaders from around the world to cardinals today. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Donald W. Wuerl

    Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl is now a cardinal.

    Wuerl was one of 24 men made a cardinal on Saturday by Pope Benedict XVI during a ceremony in Rome.

    Wuerl is the fifth archbishop of Washington to have received the honor. He became the leader of the Archdiocese of Washington in 2006, after serving as bishop of Pittsburgh for 18 years.

    Ordained in 1966, Wuerl, 69, was ordained in 1966. He is the fifth Archbishop of Washington to receive the honor since the Archdiocese was founded in 1939.

    “This truly is an honor for the Archdiocese of Washington, the Church in the nation’s capital, and for all of the clergy, religious and parishioners of this local Church who every day live out their faith in commitment and deep love for Christ," Cardinal-designate Wuerl said in a statement. "I am humbled by our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI’s trust in me as shepherd of this flock and pledge to him my renewed fidelity, affection and loyalty.”

    According to the Archdiocese of Washington, Wuerl is viewed as a leader in community, ecumenical and interfaith activities. He is known as a leading teacher of the Catholic doctrine, having written several books and articles on the Catholic faith. He has served as the head of many committees at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Archdiocese said he was "named by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as the Vatican’s delegate for Anglican parishes in the United States who are seeking unification with the Roman Catholic Church."

    Wuerl is considered a diplomat on tough social issues. In the past, he has refused to deny communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, saying he won't judge the souls of Catholics.