Bishop Lori to Baltimore, Vatican Publishes Irish Visitation Report

In an important news day from the Vatican today, Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., has been named as the new Archbishop of Baltimore. He replaces Cardinal Edwin O’Brien who last week took up his new post here in Rome as Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

Bishop Lori was one of three appointments to U.S. dioceses announced today:

* Msgr. David Malloy, until now a priest of the diocese of Milwaukee and a former general secretary of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has been appointed Bishop of Rockford, Ill., replacing Bishop Thomas Doran.
* Fr. Gregory Parkes, who has been serving as Chancellor and Vicar General of the Diocese of Orlando, is appointed Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee, taking over from Bishop John Huston Ricard who stood down in March last year.

In Canada, Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, Archbishop of Montreal, has stood down and will be replaced by Archbishop Christian Lépine, until now an auxiliary bishop in Montreal.

Also published today was a summary of the Apostolic Visitation of Ireland. The document makes a series of observations and recommendations. In particular, it notes: “Among the pastoral priorities that have emerged most strongly is the need for deeper formation in the content of the faith for young people and adults; a broad and well-planned ongoing theological and spiritual formation for clergy, Religious and lay faithful; a new focus on the role of the laity, who are called to be engaged both within the Church and in bearing witness before society, in accordance with the social teachings of the Church.”

The report also said visitators “encountered a certain tendency, not dominant but nevertheless fairly widespread among priests, Religious and laity, to hold theological opinions at variance with the teachings of the Magisterium, this serious situation requires particular attention, directed principally towards improved theological formation. It must be stressed that dissent from the fundamental teachings of the Church is not the authentic path towards renewal.”

The report can be read in full here.

The Vatican also announced today details of the next meeting of the Courtyard of the Gentiles - a project of the Pontifical Council for Culture aimed at promoting dialogue between believers and unbelievers - which will be in Palermo, Sicily, on March 29 and 30. Further meetings will follow in Bologna, Paris, Bucharest, Florence, Rome and Tirana.