January 23, 2020 / 11:37 AM / a month ago

Pope appoints Latino as new archbishop of Philadelphia

VATICAN CITY, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Thursday appointed Nelson Perez, the current Roman Catholic bishop of Cleveland, Ohio, to be the new archbishop of Philadelphia, the latest Latino to head a major U.S. archdiocese.

The 58-year-old Perez succeeds the recently retired Archbishop Charles Chaput, a conservative who was one of the U.S. Church’s so-called “culture warriors” on issues such as homosexuality and abortion, making him a hero with the Church’s more traditionalist wing.

Perez, 58, who in 2018 criticised President Donald Trump’s policy of separating migrant families, was born the son of Cuban exiles in Miami. He grew up in New Jersey and began working as a priest in Philadelphia in 1989.

He is the first Latino to head the Church in Philadelphia - one of the most important dioceses in the United States - and only the third to head an American archdiocese, reflecting changing demographics in the U.S. population. (Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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