Arch­bishop of Bal­ti­more named

The Washington Times Daily - - Nation - BY ALEX DOMINGUEZ

BAL­TI­MORE | The lead­ing voice among the na­tion’s Ro­man Catholic bish­ops against the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s con­tra­cep­tion man­date was named Tues­day as the 16th arch­bishop of Bal­ti­more, the na­tion’s first dio­cese.

Bishop Wil­liam E. Lori, 60, comes from the Dio­cese of Bridge­port, Conn., and has tes­ti­fied be­fore Congress sev­eral times in the past few months on a pro­posed mea­sure to make re­li­gious em­ploy­ers pay for con­tra­cep­tion for their em­ploy­ees, which the Catholic Church and other re­li­gious groups have called an as­sault on re­li­gious lib­erty.

The White House has said it would mod­ify the rule to re­quire that in­sur­ers pay for con­tra­cep­tion rather than em­ploy­ers, though it has yet to for­mally do so. Re­gard­less, many crit­ics have called the pro­posal point­less for re­li­gious em­ploy­ers who self-in­sure and an ac­count­ing gim­mick for those who don’t.

In Fe­bru­ary, Bishop Lori drew an ex­tended anal­ogy be­tween the man­date to cover con­tra­cep­tion and a hy­po­thet­i­cal man­date forc­ing all restau­rants na­tion­wide to serve pork, call­ing each a vi­o­la­tion of re­li­gious free­dom and say­ing it is “ab­surd for some­one to come into a kosher deli and de­mand a ham sand­wich.”

When asked whether the Vat­i­can was try­ing to move him closer to Washington, Bishop Lori joked about his fre­quent ap­pear­ances be­fore Congress.

“Yes, the Vat­i­can de­cided that I was spend­ing en­tirely too much time on the US Air­ways shut­tle,” he said. “So, they moved me to Bal­ti­more so I’m a train ride away.”

He said that he didn’t know what went into the decision but he was hum­bled by “the very thought of teach­ing the faith, pro­mot­ing and de­fend­ing re­li­gious lib­erty and serv­ing the com­mon good of so­ci­ety from a chair once held by Arch­bishop Car­roll.”

John Car­roll is con­sid­ered a founder of the Catholic Church in the U.S. and was the first bishop and arch­bishop of the Bal­ti­more dio­cese, es­tab­lished in 1789. The Arch­dio­cese of Bal­ti­more serves 510,000 Catholics in Bal­ti­more and nine coun­ties in cen­tral and western Mary­land. As the first U.S. dio­cese, it’s con­sid­ered a prom­i­nent post. Four of its arch­bish­ops have gone on to be­come car­di­nals.

Bishop Lori was born in Louisville, Ky., and or­dained in 1977. He be­came a bishop in 1995 and has served as bishop of Bridge­port since 2001. He over­saw a dio­cese that in­cludes more than 460,000 Catholics.

Bishop Lori also in­di­cated Tues­day that he would be ac­tive in An­napo­lis, where Mary­land law­mak­ers re­cently passed a gay-mar­riage bill that is fac­ing a ref­er­en­dum chal­lenge. The bill was pro­moted by Gov. Martin O’mal­ley, who is Catholic.

The post means Bishop Lori will also head the Mary­land Catholic Con­fer­ence, he noted, adding that as a stu­dent of Amer­i­can his­tory it has been “hard to miss that there’s been an ero­sion of re­li­gious lib­erty over time.” her daugh­ters — Lau­ren, 8, Sa­man­tha, 6, and Kate, 3 — and then turned the gun on her­self at a camp­ground along the Mer­amec River near the east­ern Mis­souri com­mu­nity of Bour­bon.

Their bod­ies were found on an iso­lated gravel road Satur­day.


Bishop Wil­liam E. Lori has been named the 16th arch­bishop of Bal­ti­more. He will suc­ceed Car­di­nal Ed­win O’brien.

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