Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday accepted the resignation of the Archbishop of Philadelphia, Cardinal Justin Rigali, who had been caught up in a long-running paedophile priest scandal in the archdiocese.
Rigali, 76, had submitted his resignation last year because of his age, the Vatican said in a brief bulletin. All Archbishops are required by church law to offer their notice to the pontiff on their 75th birthday.
The Archbishop of Denver, Charles Chaput, will take over the role, the bulletin said.
In March, Rigali suspended 21 suspected paedophile priests and expressed his "sorrow for the sexual abuse of minors committed by members of the Church, and above all, the clergy."
In 2005, a grand jury report had found that Rigali had covered up complaints of abuse allegedly carried out by dozens of Philadelphia priests, and had kept them in active service despite the charges against them.
The archdiocese issued a statement earlier this year saying that it had "made significant progress in protecting children and in enquiries into the alleged abuse and allegations of violence."