PHILADELPHIA — Cardinal John Krol, 77, archbishop of Philadelphia for more than a quarter century, announced today he is stepping down for reasons of age.
Pope John Paul II named Bishop Anthony J. Bevilacqua of Pittsburgh to succeed Krol as the head of the nation's fourth-largest archdiocese.
"Philadelphia deserves much better service than I am able to give at this stage of my life," Krol said at a news conference with Bevilacqua. "I am very pleased that the Holy Spirit, through our Holy Father, chose Bishop Bevilacqua to succeed me."
Church law requires that bishops submit their resignations upon reaching the age of 75. The resignations are not always accepted immediately.