By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — While most of us slept, Baltimore’s Archbishop Edwin O’Brien became Cardinal O’Brien. More than 100 parishioners from our area made the trip.

Mike Schuh has more.

On this day, Pope Benedict has created 22 new cardinals in the Roman Catholic Church. In a shorter-than-normal ceremony at St. Peter’s, one filled with pageantry and ancient tradition, Baltimore’s Archbishop Edwin O’Brien was elevated to the College of Cardinals in Rome.

Pope Benedict smiled warmly after he placed the red beretta and gave O’Brien his cardinal’s ring. He is the 15th Archbishop of the country’s oldest archdiocese and only the fourth to be elevated to cardinal.

About a hundred Marylanders flew to Rome, including a dozen from the Baldwin family from Baltimore.

“As members of the Archdiocese, [we] are very excited that he’s achieved such an honor,” said Christina Baldwin O’Meara.

There are a half a million Catholics under his guidance.

“And we coming from the Catholic school system are happy for his support for Catholic schools and we’re happy to be here and happy to support him,” said Colleen Baldwin.

Earlier, O’Brien met with many from Maryland who traveled to Rome.

“Yeah, he took the time to meet every individual person and take pictures and that was cool,” said Amanda Baldwin.

O’Brien is now in the company of 124 other cardinals who are under 80 years old and are eligible to elect a new pope. The only other American among the 22 elevated Saturday is Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who leads the church in New York.

It’s been known since August that O’Brien would be leaving his post as Baltimore’s archbishop. For now, he’s holding down two jobs, one at the Vatican and the other here in Baltimore.

There has not been any word from the Vatican as to when it expects to announce O’Brien’s successor as the Archbishop of the Baltimore Archdiocese.

For more information, go to the Catholic Review website.


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