Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Philadelphia Archbishop Justin Rigali, sending him into retirement as the archdiocese faces accusations that it covered up a long-running priest sex abuse scandal.
The pope has named Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput to succeed him.
Tuesday morning's announcement from the Vatican says the resignation of the 76-year-old Rigali was due to his age. He submitted it on his 75th birthday in April 2010, as required by church law, but the pope did not immediately act on it.
Rigali has been under pressure for his handling of the scandal. A 2005 grand jury report charged that Rigali and his predecessor hid credible sex-abuse complaints made against dozens of Philadelphia priests.
Rigali served as Archbishop of St. Louis from 1994 to 2003.