Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Washington will succeed Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, as Catholic co-chair of the consultation with the National Council of Synagogues at the dialogue’s meeting today. Cardinal Dolan has completed ten years of service as Catholic co-chair of the dialogue.
Archbishop Gregory was installed on May 21, 2019, as the seventh archbishop of Washington. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1973 in the Archdiocese of Chicago and ordained as an auxiliary bishop for Chicago in 1983. He served as bishop of Belleville from 1994-2004 before being named as archbishop of Atlanta. He has previously served as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) from 2001-2004 and acted as Catholic co-chair of the National Council of Synagogues consultation during Cardinal Dolan’s tenure as president of the USCCB from 2010-2013.
“I am honored, once again, to represent the USCCB in the important dialogue between Catholics and Jews which involves a number of rabbis, leaders of Jewish organizations, and professors,” reflected Archbishop Gregory. “The friendships and the collaboration that these conversations generate are blessings for both of our communities.”
Rabbi Harold Berman, executive director of the National Council of Synagogues, added: “It has been a great honor for the National Council of Synagogues to be able to work with Cardinal Dolan, whose personal warmth, intellect and energy have inspired all of our encounters. We are thrilled to welcome Archbishop Gregory, already well-known to many members of our leadership and we look forward to a very productive dialogue under his leadership in the years ahead.”
The National Council of Synagogues includes a variety of Jewish organizations from Reconstructing Judaism and the Reform and Conservative movements. This dialogue began in 1987 as the successor to the dialogue with the Synagogue Council of America that began in 1977. It meets biannually to discuss theological and pastoral concepts and issues of common concern. Currently, Rabbi David Straus, chair of the National Council of Synagogues, serves as Jewish co-chair.