Querido Nelson, Welcome Home – Bearing Shades of Krol and Bevy, Cleveland Returns to Philadelphia

Whispers in the Loggia

January 22, 2020

By Rocco Palmo

Now 212 years into our life as a local church, God’s People here in Philadelphia came to accrue an odd distinction in American Catholicism… well, one among others: given the insularity of this place, we’ve become the last major Stateside diocese that only ever had white bishops….

That is, until now – and the streak ends with a memorable splash onto the Chair of St John Neumann.

Per three Whispers ops, Pope Francis is set to name Nelson Perez – the 58 year-old son of Cuban exiles, until now the bishop of Cleveland, ordained a priest of Philadelphia in 1989 – as his adopted home’s 10th Archbishop on Thursday, 23 January.

The move comes four months after the 75th birthday of Archbishop Charles Chaput OFM Cap., who widely aired his wish to be retired quickly after 32 years as an active prelate, the last eight of them embroiled in attempting to rescue the 1.1 million-member Philly fold from a financial and managerial free-fall – an ongoing plate which now includes an unprecedented Federal investigation into clergy sex-abuse across the entire province (i.e. state) his successor will inherit.

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