The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles is confirming that a search is under way for a successor to Cardinal Roger Mahony.
Mahony turns 74 on Feb. 27. Under church rules, bishops submit their resignation at age 75 to the pope, who then decides whether to keep a bishop on the job longer.
Auxiliary Bishop Edward Clark notified pastoral staff of the news in a memo Wednesday and included a prayer to be recited by parishioners for the success of the selection process.
The memo was first posted on the Catholic Web site Whispers in the Loggia. Tod Tamberg, a spokesman for the archdiocese, confirmed the prayer was distributed.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the largest diocese in the United States and is a prominent post for any church leader.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.