Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory was installed as Atlanta's sixth archbishop yesterday, Jan. 17, which also marked the memorial of Martin Luther King Jr. He succeeds Archbishop John F. Donoghue, who resigned according to canon law after having reached 75 years old.
The first black president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said he chose the holiday for his installation as a tribute to King, whose widow, Coretta Scott King, was in attendance among the 8,000 gathered for the ceremony at the Georgia International Convention Center.
The 57-year-old Chicago native began his address in Spanish, saying he was eager to work in the increasingly diverse population of Atlanta, reported the Associated Press.
Serving as the bishop of the Diocese of Belleville, Ill., Archbishop Gregory led the USCCB through the sex abuse scandal that erupted in 2001, shortly after he was named USCCB president.
The Archdiocese of Atlanta has 370,000 faithful and 98 parishes. Its population has doubled in size since 1990.