Francis said the men would be officially elevated to the rank of a cardinal at a ceremony on November 28.
The newly elected cardinal has been a strong supporter of the LGBTQ community in the Church, an advocate for immigration reform, and a commissioner of a climate action plan for Catholics at Church and at home to protect the environment. Five of the six prelates who previously held Gregory's position were later named cardinals.
In addition, the Pope has also appointed the current Guardian of the Franciscan Sacro Convento in Assisi, Mauro Gambetti.
His installation at the Vatican next month will be an important milestone.
The historic character of the Pope's decision is the appointment of the first African American to the College of Cardinals.
Reverend Wilton D. Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, celebrates an Easter Sunday mass in front of empty pews at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC on April 12, 2020.
After George Floyd was killed at the hands of Minneapolis police officers in May, Gregory was forceful in his denunciation of the police.
A synopsis of Francesco reads: "Francesco is the latest film from Oscar and Emmy-nominated Director Evgeny Afineevsky, featuring exclusive interviews with His Holiness Pope Francis, His Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Mark Kennedy Shriver, Sister Norma Pimentel, and Juan Carlos Cruz, among others".
The Archdiocese of Chicago, where the cardinal-designate chose to become Catholic as boy after attending a parochial school (even though neither of his parents was Catholic), said it was rejoicing over the announcement and touted the cardinal-designate's experience and contributions during hard times for the Church.
John Aldridge reacts on Twitter to Liverpool win against FC Midtjylland
With others doubtful or ruled out, 19-year-old centre-back Rhys Williams could make his Premier League debut in the match at Anfield.
Pope Francis on Sunday said Archbishop Gregory was picked with others from Rwanda, the Philippines and elsewhere to wear the revered red cap.
- Maltese Bishop Mario Grech, 63, secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops.
Gay marriage has been contested for decades, especially in the Catholic church, which has preached against it. Pope Francis has shown his support for civil union for many years, but has not made any statements toward it as Pope, nor has he made any statements about being married in the church.
Not all of the pope's picks might stir positive recollections.
- Italian Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the papal household, 86.
Marriage equality campaigners and LGBT+ Catholics were quick to embrace the remarks.
Gregory, 72, is one of nine new cardinals under age 80, meaning they will be eligible to vote for the next pope. Some cardinals head powerful Vatican offices, and pontiffs frequently turn to cardinals for advice.
More details to follow.
Gregory, who was born and raised in Chicago, was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago in May 1973, according to his biography on the Archdiocese of Washington website.