Bishop Matthew Clark, head of the Rochester Roman Catholic diocese since 1979, has officially retired. Clark announced at a press conference today that Pope Benedict XVI has accepted his resignation.
Bishop Robert Cunningham, head of the Syracuse diocese, will lead the Rochester diocese until a new bishop is named.
Clark turned 75 on July 15 -- the age bishops are required to submit their letter of resignation.
Clark oversaw some major and controversial transitions within the diocese during his tenure, including the closings of numerous Catholic schools. Many of the city's churches were also closed as more Catholics moved to the suburbs.
There are roughly 300,000 Roman Catholics in the Rochester diocese.