Archbishop Lori to lead Baltimore archdiocese

March 20, 2012


By Jennifer Williams


Pope Benedict XVI has named Bishop William Edward Lori, 60, of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., as the 16th archbishop of Baltimore. Archbishop Lori will be formally installed as head of the Premier See May 16.

Archbishop Lori succeeds Cardinal Edwin F. O’Brien, who took the helm of the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2007. Cardinal O’Brien was named grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher in August 2011 and continues to serve as apostolic administrator for the Baltimore archdiocese until his successor’s installation.

Archbishop Lori will be introduced to the Archdiocese of Baltimore by Cardinal O’Brien at a news conference today at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at 10:30 a.m.

Archbishop Lori, who hails from Louisville, Ky., was installed as the fourth bishop of the Bridgeport diocese in 2001. The Connecticut leader, who has a bachelor’s degree from St. Pius X Seminary in Kentucky, is acquainted with the Archdiocese of Baltimore, having earned a master’s degree from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg in 1977.

Archbishop Lori returned to the Mount Jan. 9-13 to serve as retreat master for the school’s annual mid-year silent retreat. Other than liturgies and two conferences led by Archbishop Lori on the Luminous Mysteries of the rosary, silence was maintained.

After earning his degree from the Mount in 1977, Archbishop Lori was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. His first assignment was at St. Joseph in Landover. In 1982, Archbishop Lori received his doctorate in sacred theology from The Catholic University of America in Washington. He was appointed an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Washington in 1995.

Archbishop Lori has been at the forefront of Catholic news recently, speaking out against the contraceptive mandate issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in his role as chairman of the U.S. bishops' Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty.

On March 16, he spoke to Catholic News Service (CNS) about the fact that the administration has been meeting separately with various Catholic groups to discuss the issue.

"All Catholic stakeholders should be at same table" or attending these White House sessions at the same time, "in order to respect the Catholic Church in its complexity," he said.

He told CNS that the bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty plans to publish a statement in the next few days that will serve as a basis for catechesis for discussion on religious liberty.

Archbishop Lori has a longtime affiliation with the Knights of Columbus and was elected the 10th supreme chaplain of the lay fraternal organization in 2005 – a role he continues to serve.

"The Knights of Columbus is an amazing lay organization, predominantly, that already supports family life in very magnificent ways, supports the dignity of human life, and also the vocations of priestly and religious life, as well as a solid healthy patriotism," then Bishop Lori told CNS upon his 2005 appointment.

Bishop Lori serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., and past chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Catholic University of America. He currently serves on the Mount St. Mary’s University Board.

Baltimore’s own Cardinal Lawrence J. Shehan, who died in 1984, served as the first bishop of the Bridgeport Diocese (1953-1960) before being appointed co-adjutor archbishop of Baltimore in 1961, later serving as cardinal archbishop.

Catholic News Service contributed to this article. 

To learn more about Archbishop Lori appointment and history, read these stories:

Press conference welcomes new archbishop 

Video and audio: Archbishop Lori’s first homily focuses on sacramental life

Audio: Press conference welcomes new archbishop

Video: New archbishop 'thrilled, humbled'

Bishops disappointed with recent White House meeting on HHS mandate 

Bishop Lori outlines religious liberty issues at fall general assembly

MCC’s Russell among 10 consultants named to new religious freedom committee

Theme of papal book may also be hallmark of his papacy