New archbishop of San Francisco sets out pastoral plan


The new archbishop of San Francisco revealed important aspects of his pastoral plan Wednesday during his installation ceremony at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

Archbishop George Hugh Niederauer told the 3,000-member crowd that packed into the cathedral that he intends to visit all parishes, Catholic schools and institutions in the archdiocese and to focus on the recruitment, training and support of new priests, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.

The archbishop’s plan addresses the decline in church attendance and vocations to the priesthood, which the archdiocese has experienced in recent times.

He committed to doing all he can to "continue the healing" of people who were abused by priests and said the faithful should work to set aside the individualism prevalent in America for selfless compassion, reported the newspaper.

Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles and Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia attended, as did Mayor Gavin Newsom and parish priests from across the diocese.

Archbishop Niederauer was born June 14, 1936, in Los Angeles. He attended Catholic elementary and high schools and was ordained as a priest of the Los Angeles Archdiocese in 1962. He has worked as an English professor at St. John's Seminary College in Ventura County and holds a doctorate in English literature from the University of Southern California.

The 69-year-old cleric, who served for 11 years as bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, succeeds Archbishop William Levada as the eighth bishop of San Francisco. Archbishop Levada became the highest-ranking American in Vatican history when he was named prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in August.

The Archdiocese of San Francisco includes 422,000 Catholics in San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties.

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