Pope Benedict to elevate Archbishop O’Brien to cardinal

The Baltimore Sun

By Dean Jones Jr. and Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun

10:00 a.m. EST, January 6, 2012

The nation’s oldest Catholic diocese can once again claim one of the highest ranking members of the Roman Catholic hierarchy as its leader.

Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, spiritual leader of the Baltimore diocese since 2007, was named a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI on Friday and is the fourth bishop in a 223-year history of the episcopal see to be so honored.

Although the Pope has given O’Brien new duties that will end his tenure here, most say the appointment pays homage to the Archdiocese and its half-million Catholics.

“The news of the elevation is not unexpected, but the timing is surprising,” said Sean Caine, spokesman for the Archdiocese. “We fully expected this to happen once a successor was installed here. It is an honor to have this happen now, while he is still serving in Baltimore. This is definitely a special occasion.”

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