Courtesy Cleveland Catholic Diocese
The Cleveland Catholic Diocese has confirmed that Bishop Nelson Perez, 58, has been named Archbishop-elect of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by Pope Francis.
In a statement provided by the Cleveland Diocese, Perez expressed bittersweet sentiments. He said he was grateful to return to Philadelphia, where he'd been ordained and where he served in two parishes, but was sad to leave Cleveland.
“I will never forget the kindness and hospitality of the people of the Diocese of Cleveland," Perez said. "They will remain in my heart and prayers always. As change is an ever-present part of life, I now turn my attention southeastward as I look forward to my return to Pennsylvania to shepherd the people of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.”
Described as a "kind, joyous and hard-working" leader, Perez made initiatives to get youth and young adults more involved in the life of the church a top priority.
Perez was installed as the Bishop in Cleveland in September, 2017, after Bishop Richard Lennon — lately deceased — retired due to his worsening dementia. Perez will remain in Cleveland until Feb. 18, at which point he'll fill the big shoes of Philly's Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput, who one Catholic Magazine posited
might be the "best diocesan bishop of our time." Philadelphia is roughly 36 percent Roman Catholic, with nearly 1.5 million total in the Archdiocese.
The Cleveland Diocese said that announcements on future leadership in Northeast Ohio will be forthcoming.
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