William E. Lori

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William Edward Lori
Archbishop of Baltimore
SeeArchdiocese of Baltimore
AppointedMarch 20, 2012
InstalledMay 16, 2012
PredecessorEdwin Frederick O'Brien
OrdinationMay 14, 1977
by William Wakefield Baum
ConsecrationApril 20, 1995
by James Aloysius Hickey
Personal details
Born (1951-05-06) May 6, 1951 (age 72)
Previous post(s)
MottoCaritas in veritate
(Charity in truth)
Styles of
William E. Lori
Reference styleThe Most Reverend
Spoken styleYour Excellency[1]
Religious styleArchbishop
Posthumous stylen/a

William Edward Lori (born May 6, 1951) is an American prelate of the Catholic Church who has served as the 16th archbishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore in Maryland since 2012.

Lori previously served as the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport in Connecticut, and as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. He also serves as vice-president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.



William Lori was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 6, 1951, to Francis and Margaret Lori. He attended the Seminary of Saint Pius X in Erlanger, Kentucky, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in 1973. He earned a master's degree from Mount Saint Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, in 1977.[2]

Priestly ministry[edit]

Lori was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal William Wakefield Baum on May 14, 1977, for the Archdiocese of Washington.[3] After his ordination, Lori served as a parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish in Largo, Maryland, from 1977 until 1982. He earned a Doctor of Sacred Theology from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., in 1982. That same year, Lori became a theological advisor to Cardinal James Aloysius Hickey, maintaining that role until 2000.[2]

Lori also served as the director of ecumenical affairs for the archdiocese from 1982 to 1986 and as Hickey's priest–secretary from 1983 until 1994. In 1994, Lori became the chancellor, vicar general, and moderator of the curia.[4] In early 1995, Lori served as spokesman for the archdiocese when it removed four priests from ministry after they confessed to sexually abusing an altar boy years earlier.[5]

Auxiliary Bishop of Washington[edit]

On February 25, 1995, Pope John Paul II appointed Lori as an auxiliary bishop of Washington and titular bishop of Bulla. He was consecrated by Cardinal Hickey on April 20, 1995, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., with Cardinal William Wakefield Baum and Bishop William George Curlin serving as co-consecrators.[3]

Hickey sent Lori in 1997 to investigate irregularities in a Georgetown parish. The pastoral staff had allegedly used gender-neutral terms during mass and criticized the male-only priesthood. Lori interviewed dozens of parishioners under oath, leaving many of them unhappy with the experience.[5]

Bishop of Bridgeport[edit]

On January 23, 2001, John Paul II appointed Lori as bishop of Bridgeport; he was installed on March 19, 2001.[6] As bishop, Lori launched new initiatives in Catholic education, vocations, Catholic Charities, pastoral services, and other ministries[2]

In 2002, Lori participated in writing the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. The initial draft of the charter applied to bishops, priests, and deacons. However, the revised draft mentioned only priests and deacons.[7] When questioned why the revised draft omitted bishops, Lori said that the drafting committee: blockquote>"...decided we would limit it to priests and deacons, as the disciplining of bishops is beyond the purview of this document. 'Cleric' would cover all three, so we decided not to use the word "cleric.'"[7] While serving in Bridgeport, Lori refused to release the names of diocesan priests who were being sued for sexual abuse, part of the sexual abuse scandal in Bridgeport diocese. The US Supreme Court ruled against Lori in 2009 and the diocese was forced to release the names.[8]

Archbishop of Baltimore[edit]

On March 20, 2012, Lori was appointed archbishop of by Pope Benedict XVI; Lori was installed on May 6, 2012.[9] In January 2019, Lori released “The Journey to Racial Justice: Repentance, Healing and Action.” The document acknowledged racism in the Catholic Church and suggested measures to combat it.[2] In January 2019, Lori instituted an initiative for reporting allegations against any bishop in the archdiocese. The policy was drafted by the archdiocesan Independent Review Board.

Lori was appointed apostolic administrator in September 2018 of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, following the retirement of Bishop Michael J. Bransfield. Lori headed an investigation into allegations that Bransfield had engaged in sexual harassment and made inappropriate financial transactions.[10]

In June 2019, the Washington Post[10] obtained copies of the first and final drafts of Lori's report on Bransfield. The final draft omitted the names of several cardinals and bishops who had received cash gifts from Bransfield, including that of Lori himself. After the article was published, Lori returned his $7,500 contribution from Bransfield to the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, asking that they donate it to Catholic Charities. Other bishops followed his example.[11] Lori admitted removing the names to the Baltimore Sun,[12] stating “looking back on this in hindsight, I would say that judgment call was a mistake.”


  • Chancellor and chair of the board, St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore
  • Chancellor, Mount St. Mary's Seminary
  • Former board chair, Catholic University of America
  • Former board chair, Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut
  • Former chair and current member, USCCB Committee on Doctrine
  • Former chair, USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty
  • Chair, USCCB Ad Hoc Committee on Universities and Colleges
  • Member, USCCB Committee on Pro–Life Activities
  • Member, USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage
  • Former member, USCCB Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse
  • Former member, USCCB Committee on Catholic Education
  • Supreme chaplain of the Knights of Columbus since 2005[2]



In 2022, Lori expressed his support for a national ban on abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ His Excellency Archbishop William E. Lori. Retrieved November 30, 2014
  2. ^ a b c d e "Biography of Archbishop William E. Lori". Archdiocese of Baltimore. Retrieved December 27, 2023.
  3. ^ a b "Archbishop William Edward Lori [Catholic-Hierarchy]". www.catholic-hierarchy.org. Retrieved December 27, 2023.
  4. ^ "Pope Names Washington Auxiliary Bishop William Lori as Bishop of Bridgeport, CT" Archived 24 December 2005.
  5. ^ a b "W.Va. scandal muddies legacy of Vatican's longtime fixer from Baltimore". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved April 15, 2022.
  6. ^ "Archbishop William Edward Lori [Catholic-Hierarchy]". www.catholic-hierarchy.org. Retrieved April 15, 2022.
  7. ^ a b "McCarrick, the bishops, and unanswered questions". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved December 27, 2023.
  8. ^ Degeorge, Vincent (December 5, 2018). "Can Baltimore's archbishop bring accountability to West Virginia's Catholic Church?". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved December 27, 2023.
  9. ^ "NOMINA DELL'ARCIVESCOVO DI BALTIMORE (U.S.A.)" (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. March 20, 2012. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013.
  10. ^ a b W. Va Bishop gave powerful cardinals and other priests $350,000 in cash gifts Washington Post, June 5, 2019.
  11. ^ Vatican Cardinal, other priests, to return cash gifts Washington Post, June 7, 2019
  12. ^ In report to Vatican, Baltimore Archbishop Lori deleted mention of gifts from bishop he investigated Baltimore Sun, June 5, 2019
  13. ^ "Catholic bishops' pro-life chair supports 15-week abortion ban nationwide". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved December 27, 2023.

External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Titular Bishop of Bulla
February 28, 1995 – January 23, 2001
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Bridgeport
January 23, 2001 – March 20, 2012
Succeeded by
Preceded by Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus
Preceded by Archbishop of Baltimore
March 20, 2012–present