Outspoken bishop to take helm of Archdiocese of Baltimore
But Lori in the past has pointed to how he has helped the church become more proactive and vigilant about sexual abuse through his work on what has become known as the Dallas Charter. Lori was one of the bishops who in 2002 wrote what they call a "zero-tolerance" policy on dealing with priests who have sexually abused children, and got it approved by the Vatican.

But Beth McCabe, co-leader of the Connecticut chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Lori has been "unsympathetic to survivors" and has refused to deal with past events.

"He may have written the definitive charter on protecting children, but I question if he is following it," she said. "We find no empathy or compassion, only roadblocks."

Lori also has served as supreme chaplain of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization, since 2005, and is "an excellent pastor and administrator," said Andrew Walther, the group's spokesman.

"He brings a calm, thoughtful solution to every situation," Walther said. "He is totally committed to the teachings of the church and is always a civil, resolute defender of the Catholic faith."

Lori said Tuesday he learned of the appointment on March 13 and has been getting a crash course on the archdiocese from O'Brien during the past week. He celebrated the noon Mass at the Basilica, and said he planned to visit parishes, schools and charities in the coming weeks.

He met with seminarians and parishioners who attended the press conference before the Mass, including Kelly Llobet and her five home-schooled children. Ranging in age from 2 to 11, they handed Lori a card welcoming him to town.

"He is a terrific, traditional Catholic," Llobet said. "This is history being made here today, and we are happy that he has come here to lead us."

During his remarks, Lori indeed proffered a conservative approach, decrying what he called "the erosion of religious liberty, by legislation, court decisions and the increasing secularity of culture."

Baltimore Auxiliary Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski said he has worked closely with Lori in the last few years during the semi-annual bishops' conferences.

"He is a quick learner, a good listener and he has a great talent for processing information and acting on it."

Palmo, the blogger, said Lori will have to hit the ground running once he becomes the 16th head of the Baltimore archdiocese, which includes surrounding counties and has about 510,000 Catholics.

"Lori's steel grit will serve him well on the tough moral issues that he will face immediately," Palmo said. "Baltimore is one of the best-run dioceses in the country, but there are many looming crises. He won't have much of a honeymoon. He will take to the big city easily and I predict his tenure will be long."