SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A staunch supporter of California’s same-sex marriage ban has been named to oversee the Archdiocese of San Francisco, Catholic Church officials announced Friday.

The Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, who was previously serving as bishop of Oakland, was named archbishop by Pope Benedict XVI following the resignation of previous Archbishop George Niederauer.

Cordileone, 56, served as an auxiliary bishop in San Diego before being appointed to the position in Oakland in 2009. He is currently chairman of the Subcommittee on the Promotion and Defense of Marriage of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Niederauer, 76, had served as archbishop of San Francisco since December 2005.

The move may surprise liberal Catholics since Cordileone was a big force behind the passage of Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage. Last month, Archbishop Niederaur told KCBS that his advice to the incoming leader is to respect the Bay Area’s diversity.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

“My stance is against same-sex marriage, but my stance is not discriminatory towards anyone,” Cordileone said. However, he did question the public’s interest in same-sex marriage.

“The public interest in the traditional idea of marriage is the children that come from the marriage, so that children could have a happy, healthy upbringing so they could be good and productive citizens,” the new archbishop added.

He acknowledged his upcoming challenges in the archdiocese as immigration reform and the restoration of family life.

He said his role as a moral teacher often forces him to step into the political spotlight; something he doesn’t intend on shying away from, when he takes over in early October.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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