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New archbishops for Baltimore, Montreal

March 20, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has named new archbishops for two important sees in North America, choosing Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut, to become Archbishop of Baltimore; and Bishop Christian Lepine, a Montreal auxiliary, to head the Montreal archdiocese.

Born in Kentucky in 1951, William Lori was ordained to the priesthood in the Washington, DC archdiocese in 1977 and became an auxiliary bishop there in 1995. He was named Bishop of Bridgeport in 2001. Last year he was chosen to head the US bishops’ committee on religious freedom, and in that capacity has become a prominent critic of the Obama administration’s plans for a contraceptive mandate. He is also the supreme chaplain of the Knights of Columbus.

In Baltimore—which is the premier see in the American Catholic hierarchy, having been founded in 1789—Archbishop Lori succeeds Cardinal Edwin O’Brien. Cardinal O’Brien was appointed last year to be the grand master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre. He had remained apostolic administrator of the Baltimore archdiocese pending the appointment of the new archbishop.

Bishop Christian Lepine was also born in 1951, in Montreal. Ordained to the priesthood there in 1983, he became an auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese in 2011. He succeeds Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, who is retiring at the age of 75.


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