BALTIMORE (WJZ)— For half a million Maryland Catholics, a transition of power is underway. A new Archbishop has been appointed for the Baltimore Archdiocese.

Alex DeMetrick reports Pope Benedict XVI  has named Bishop William Lori to take over the post this spring.

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Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, who is leaving as Archbishop, introduced his successor Tuesday morning.

Bishop Lori, 60, had been serving in Bridgeport, Conn. Pope Benedict XVI made Lori the 16th Archbishop of the nation’s oldest diocese, in part because of his public stance on current hot button issues.

“Bishop Lori has been an outspoken advocate for religious freedom and for the preservation of marriage between one man and one woman,” said Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, Archdiocese of Baltimore.

And he arrives as momentum to overturn Maryland’s new same-sex marriage law heads for a referendum this fall.

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“While I don’t know the details of what lay ahead in the referendum, I’ll certainly not only be teaching as bishop, but also working with all the other bishops in Maryland, and all the other leaders as the referendum unfolds,” Lori said.

That means preaching from the pulpit and the public square to Catholics who don’t always agree with Vatican rules. The confusion of changing times can make certainties harder.

“I see things change so much these days and it’s hard to say what’s right and what’s wrong,” said Carl Adams, of Baltimore.

“People know a caricature of what the church teaches, as opposed to what it does teach,” Lori said. “Maybe they don’t know why the church teaches what it does. Sometimes people have been hurt.”

As the new Archbishop, Lori says he will focus on getting those who question those teachings to take a second look.

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Lori will be installed as the new Archbishop at a ceremony at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen on May 16.