For Immediate Release
Sunday, December 8, 2019
Today in Rome, Pope Francis announced his acceptance of the resignation of Edwin Cardinal O’Brien as Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Cardinal O’Brien previously served as 15th Archbishop of Baltimore from 2007-2012.
Upon learning of the Holy Father’s announcement, Cardinal O’Brien, 80, who submitted his letter of resignation upon reaching the age of 75, as required by Church law, issued the following statement from Rome.
“It is with complete acceptance and appreciation that I welcome the decision of Pope Francis to replace me as Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. I am especially pleased that His Holiness has appointed His Eminence Fernando Cardinal Filoni as my successor.
“I have been privileged well beyond the time of my letter of resignation, submitted over five years ago. Throughout my more than eight years as Grand Master, my personal faith and love of our Church have deepened as I have witnessed our members’ commitment to the goals of our Order, expressed in different cultures and languages, all profoundly Catholic!
“I am most grateful to the two Governors General with whom I have served, Their Excellencies, Professor Agostino Borromeo and Ambassador Leonardo Visconti di Modrone. Our collaborators in the Grand Magisterium and the daily, dedicated service of our office staff largely account for the steady growth of our Order. Their commitment to our lieutenancies and to the mission of the Latin Patriarchate has been unwavering.
“Finally, I welcome His Eminence, Cardinal Filoni as Our Grand Master. His long and broad pastoral and administrative experience in service to the Universal Church will be precious assets as he leads our Order into the future. I offer him my full and fraternal support as I beg the continued intercession of Our Lady of Palestine.”
In retirement, Cardinal O’Brien intends to remain in residence at the Vatican.