Archbishop Wilton Daniel Gregory will be one of the 13 men who will achieve the cardinal rank in the ceremony scheduled to take place on Nov.  28. 

On Sunday, Pope Francis announced he would be elevating the archbishop to cardinal status, making Gregory the first African American to hold the cardinal title. Cardinals are ranked behind the pope and are the ones who vote to elect the new pope.

While the move will certainly give Gregory a place in the history books, in the present day, the Archbishop is more known for his criticism of President Trump.

In June, Gregory slammed Trump after the president and first lady Melania visited a shrine of Pope John Paul II. The event took place a day after law enforcement used rubber bullets and tear gas to get rid of peaceful protesters outside the White House so the president could take a photo in front of St. John’s Church holding a Bible.

“I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles, which call us to defend the rights of all people even those with whom we might disagree,” Gregory said in a statement at the time.

Gregory went on to claim that Pope John Paul II wouldn’t approve of Trump’s controversial photo-op. “Saint Pope John Paul II was an ardent defender of the rights and dignity of human beings. His legacy bears vivid witness to that truth,” the archbishop said.

“He certainly would not condone the use of tear gas and other deterrents to silence, scatter or intimidate them for a photo opportunity in front of a place of worship and peace.”

Despite Gregory’s statement about Trump, John Carr, who has worked with the archbishop for 20 years, has described him as a “caring pastor, a quiet leader, and a courageous voice.”

“At a time when racism is tearing our country apart, he has been a consistent, persistent voice for the dignity of all — for Black lives and for racial justice and reconciliation,” Carr said. 

“We need healing, and for Pope Francis to recognize his leadership is a hopeful sign.”

Wilton D. Gregory 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. Photo: EVA HAMBACH/AFP via Getty Images