Baltimore’s Archbishop to Lead Order of the Holy Sepulchre (Not a Band)

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Archbishop Edwin O’Brien has received a Vatican appointment to lead the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. The Catholic knightly order, of which Archbishop O’Brien was previously a Grand Prior, was founded during the First Crusade to maintain control of Christian holy places around Jerusalem.

Today, the Order is no longer military. Rather its knights and dames (who number more than 23,000 across five continents, according to The Sun), support Christian interests in the holy land through philanthropy.

O’Brien has a long career in the clergy—he was an Army chaplain during Vietnam—but has only presided over the archdiocese of Baltimore since 2007, during which time he has overseen over a controversial restructuring of Catholic schools, campaigned for global nuclear disarmament, and urged our Catholic governor not to support same-sex marriage.

The promotion involves a move to Rome and implies that O’Brien will soon be made a cardinal. He will remain Archbishop of Baltimore until a successor is named.

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