updated 5/16/2006 6:34:01 AM ET 2006-05-16T10:34:01

Pope Benedict XVI has named Pittsburgh Bishop Donald Wuerl to replace Cardinal Theodore McCarrick as archbishop of Washington, the Vatican said Tuesday.

McCarrick, a leading moderate voice in the U.S. church, submitted his resignation as required of all bishops when he turned 75 last July. In a brief statement Tuesday, the Vatican said Benedict had accepted McCarrick’s resignation and named Wuerl to replace him.

Wuerl, 65, a native of Pittsburgh, returned to the city in 1988 after working in Seattle. He was an American delegate at the Vatican’s meeting of the world’s bishops in October.

McCarrick has been in the spotlight in recent years as he tried to moderate the fierce debate over whether Catholic politicians must adhere to church teaching in their professional lives.

McCarrick, who was born July 7, 1930, was made Washington archbishop by Pope John Paul II in 2000, after serving as archbishop of Newark, N.J.

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