January 23, 2020
Philadelphia has a new Archbishop, a man who is tasked with the tall order of bringing transparency and openness to an archdiocese that has long taken an antagonistic position towards survivors of clergy abuse.
Nelson Perez, the former Bishop of Cleveland, has been elevated to the Archbishop of Philadelphia by Pope Francis. He replaces Archbishop Charles Chaput, a man whose signature achievements included actively fighting against legislation that would benefit survivors and wantonly ignoring the church’s zero tolerance policy for priests accused of abuse.
Archbishop Perez has a lot of work in front of him. We have concerns that, as a product of St. Charles Seminary in Philadelphia and as one who knows how the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has repeatedly failed victims, he may adopt a “business as usual” approach. We hope for the complete opposite and that we see Archbishop Perez be true to his motto, “trust and hope,” two things that survivors in Philadelphia have long found wanting in their Catholic leadership. The archbishop has the opportunity to, as he said many times in Cleveland, “do the right thing.”
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