March 5, 2020 / 4:34 PM / a month ago

Pope Francis picks Savannah bishop to lead Atlanta archdiocese

ATLANTA, March 5 (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Thursday named Gregory Hartmayer, the Roman Catholic bishop of Savannah, to lead the Atlanta archdiocese and its 100 parishes and 1.2 million Catholics.

Hartmayer, 68, an ordained priest of the Franciscan order, said on the Diocese of Savannah’s Facebook page that he was “grateful and honored by the trust and condfidence that he (the Pope) has placed in me.”

Hartmayer succeeds Archbishop Wilton Gregory who was appointed to head the Archdiocese of Washington in early 2019 after serving Atlanta for almost 15 years.

At a press conference in Smyrna, Georgia early Tuesday, Hartmayer said of Gregory, “I cannot possibly fill his shoes. I will have to walk in my own shoes.” (Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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