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Thu Jan 23, 2020, 11:12 AM

Pope Francis appoints a new archbishop of Philadelphia, replacing a prominent conservative prelate

Pope Francis appointed Nelson J. Perez as the new head of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Philadelphia on Thursday, replacing one of the United States’ most prominent conservative bishops and elevating Perez as the region’s first Hispanic archbishop.

In a statement, Francis announced the retirement of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, whom Pope Benedict XVI appointed to the position in 2011. Perez, who was the bishop of Cleveland, is a lesser-known figure nationally than Chaput.

Chaput, who is seen as a political and theological conservative, has gained a reputation as a critic of Francis.

“It is with great joy tinged with a sense of sadness that I accept the appointment - joy that I will be returning to serve [Philadelphia], sadness in that I will be leaving [Cleveland],” Perez tweeted in a statement.


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