Baltimore’s Archbishop Lori installed

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BALTIMORE - In a jubilant liturgy that highlighted the historic roots of the Baltimore Archdiocese while also looking to the future, Archbishop William E. Lori was installed as the 16th archbishop of Baltimore May 16 at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.

A smiling Archbishop Lori wore the same pectoral cross that belonged to Archbishop John Carroll - the first archbishop of Baltimore - as he was led to the bishop's chair by Cardinal Edwin F. O'Brien and Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

In front of more than 2,000 people, Archbishop Lori grasped his crosier and began a new era in the 223-year history of the Baltimore archdiocese as he symbolically took possession of his cathedral.

Archbishop Vigano, representing Pope Benedict XVI, extended papal greetings and read an English translation of the apostolic mandate naming the former bishop of Bridgeport, Conn., to his Baltimore post.

"We express our confidence that through your faithful ministry of teaching, governing and sanctifying, you will win hearts to Jesus Christ and shape minds in the knowledge, understanding and love of his church," Archbishop Vigano said.

In his homily, Archbishop Lori emphasized the importance of defending religious liberty - highlighting the contributions of men like Archbishop Carroll and another predecessor, Cardinal James Gibbons.

"We do not seek to defend religious liberty for partisan purposes," he said, "as some have suggested. No. We do this because we are lovers of a human dignity that was fashioned and imparted not by the government, but by the Creator."

Archbishop Lori challenged the congregation to be loyal Americans "by being bold and courageous Catholics."

"Let us never imagine that the faith we profess with such personal conviction is merely a private matter," he said. "By its nature, the profession of faith is a public matter - for the faith is meant to be spread far and wide and acted upon in and through church institutions and in the witness of individual believers."

Archbishop Lori, who chairs the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, encouraged Catholics to resist shrinking from entering the public square, where ideals such as promoting the sanctity of human life, serving those in need and defending the institution of marriage as between a man and a woman must be held high.

Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde was among more than 300 priests, bishops, archbishops and cardinals from around the country attended the Mass. Cardinal O'Brien was joined by the 14th archbishop of Baltimore, Cardinal William H. Keeler.

Other cardinals in attendance were New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, Boston Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, retired New York Cardinal Edward M. Egan, retired Washington Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick and retired former head of the Vatican's Apostolic Penitentiary, Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, a former auxiliary bishop of Baltimore.

In welcoming Archbishop Lori to Baltimore, Cardinal O'Brien said his successor would find support from his flock.

"A new and grace-filled chapter begins today for America's most historic archdiocese," Cardinal O'Brien said, "and for that we offer thanks - eucharistic thanks - to God."

Reflecting the growing cultural diversity of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, prayers were offered in English, Arabic, Igbo, Spanish, Tagalog, French, Korean and American Sign Language. Some of the liturgical readings were proclaimed in Spanish and Archbishop Lori delivered part of his homily in Spanish.

During the concluding moments of the rite of installation, representatives of various archdiocesan ministries joined representatives of the ecumenical, interfaith and civic communities in personally greeting the new archbishop.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was among them, as were Bishop Douglas Miles of the Baptist Church, Imam Earl El-Amin of the Muslim community and Arthur Abramson of the Baltimore Jewish Council.

Msgr. Steven Rohlfs, rector of Mount St. Mary's Seminary and a former seminarian with Archbishop Lori at Mount St. Mary's, was among those representing Catholic higher education who greeted the archbishop.

In an email response to the Catholic Review, Baltimore archdiocesan newspaper, Rawlings-Blake called it "a great honor and a privilege" to attend the installation.

"As mayor, I understand all of the great charitable work that the greater Baltimore Catholic community does to help make Baltimore a better place by serving our most vulnerable citizens," she said, "and I look forward to meeting with Archbishop Lori in the coming weeks."

Matysek is assistant managing editor of The Catholic Review in Baltimore. Contributing to this story were Review staffers Maria Wiering, Jennifer Williams and Elizabeth Skalski.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 1970