Pope Names Baltimore Archbishop To New Post

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A surprising change in local tradition. Monday, Edwin O’Brien, the Archbishop of Baltimore, announced he is leaving that post.

Alex DeMetrick reports it is the first time in more than two centuries a sitting archbishop has been moved out of Baltimore by the Vatican.

Archbishop Edwin O’Brien called the news media and his support staff to the Archdiocese headquarters to make the announcement.

“Effective today, I am no longer the Archbishop of Baltimore,” said O’Brien.

The first and oldest diocese in the U.S. is considered a premiere posting. Four years ago, the Vatican made O’Brien archbishop, succeeding Cardinal William Keeler. It was a surprise then.

“It was just a thunderbolt,” O’Brien said.

And being assigned a job in the Vatican is a surprise now.

“To remove a resident bishop of a major archdiocese shows the priority that Holy Father has,” O’Brien said.

That’s because he is the first of the 15 previous archbishops over the past 220 years not to retire or die in office, a tradition staff came to expect.

“Surprised that Archbishop O’Brien hasn’t been here very long,” said Kristen Kinkopf, Catholic Charities.

“It’s one of those things where it’s their gain and our lost,” said Bishop Dennis Madden.

He will work in the Middle East.

“The land in which Christ walked and died and rose again will always be sacred to Christians and all of us must do all we can to preserve the holiness of that land,” O’Brien said.

While there was joy at the promotion, there was also sadness.

“It’s very bittersweet,” said one woman.

The posting to Rome is a strong indication O’Brien is on his way to becoming a cardinal.

While Edwin O’Brien is technically no longer Archbishop of Baltimore, he will continue on in an administrative role until the Vatican appoints his successor.

More from Alex DeMetrick
  • LadyEsmerelda

    Good riddance… he has done the damage he was sent here to do and is ready to move on. I say “don’t let the door hit you on the way out”.

  • Rick Day

    Total agreement…Good Riddance. This is not a loss for Baltimore. This is a plus, anyone would be 100% better then O’Brien. He has shown his real color..He hates Gay people, and only supports your parish if you have money for his use. He has been a person that divides people. Our prayers have been answered.

  • Buck Evans

    Any news about A defector’s unexplainable disappearance?

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