- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 4, 2016

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — A North Carolina bishop has been selected to lead the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, Virginia.

Officials announced Tuesday that Pope Francis appointed Bishop Michael Burbidge to serve as the Bishop of Arlington. The 59-year-old Philadelphia native has served as the Bishop of Raleigh, North Carolina, since 2006. Officials say the number of Catholics grew more than 40 percent to 430,000 during Burbidge’s tenure and his priorities included the construction of a cathedral set to be dedicated next year.

Burbidge succeeds 76-year-old Bishop Paul Loverde, who has led the diocese since 1999. A church rule requires bishops to submit letters of resignation at age 75. He’ll serve as apostolic administrator until a Mass of Installation on Dec. 6.

The Diocese of Arlington serves 600,000 Catholics in central and northern Virginia.

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