WASHINGTON — Washington’s Archbishop, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, has celebrated his first Mass since returning home from Rome for the papal conclave.

Wuerl blessed palm branches on Palm Sunday to mark the start of Holy Week. He celebrated Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.

Wuerl recently returned from Rome after participating in the papal conclave that elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, who is now known as Pope Francis. This was the first time that Wuerl, who became a cardinal in 2010, has participated in the conclave.

He said Sunday that the pope is responsible for teaching the faith and providing pastoral leadership.

The Archdiocese of Washington encompasses the District of Columbia and five Maryland counties. It is home to more than 620,000 Catholics.

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