Posted on Philadelphia Archbishop Chaput's Facebook page:
It was announced in Rome this morning that Philadelphia's Msgr. Nelson Perez, Pastor of Saint Agnes Parish in West Chester, has been appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.
As Bishop-elect Perez prepares to begin his episcopal ministry, I offer him heartfelt congratulations and pray that the Holy Spirit will strengthen him as a successor of the Apostles. I’m confident that he will be of great service to Bishop William Murphy and all of God’s people in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. They are fortunate to receive such a gift from the Holy Father in the person of Bishop-elect Perez. He has a joyful and down-to-earth personality, an obvious love for the priesthood, and a tireless devotion to his ministry.
Please join me in offering him prayerful best wishes. May God bless you.
I'm so happy I could cry. Msgr. Nelson has to be one of the sweetest, most joyous and genuinely loving people I've ever met. Rockville really is incredibly blessed to have him. Please say a prayer for him in his new role. May Our Lady ever shine her smile down upon him and his people. He's in for a bumpy road given the turmoil our Church is now facing. God certainly knows how to pick His warriors. Bless him!
My beloved Archdiocese of Philadelphia... what happened to you?
Have you really succumbed so gently to the false whispers of satan? Have you become pliant through his fiery caress? Have you become so blinded by the gilded treasures of worldliness, power and carnal gratification that the Beatific Vision is completely obscured from you?
God help us. We are lost if not for Your Grace.
For those of you unaware, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia - my home, my foundation, and my heart - has been reaping the fruits of a decades long abuse cover-up. We most certainly have been in the wrong for the reshuffling of priests, the silence of cardinals / bishops, the treatment of victims, etc. We have turned ourselves away from Truth and found an angry, unsettled and disordered home in the filth of sin.
Oh, what agony now befits us! Due to such negligence and willful perpetration of violence against the innocent among us, we suffer! We suffer as well we should, but dear Lord - Mercy!
We are being stripped of our priests. Sinners though they are, we haven't the vocations to fill the holes they leave behind. Sinners that we, the laity, are - we are left with no one to shepherd us via Sacraments and pastoral care.
Oh Lord, this truly is a punishment we bring upon ourselves! Catholicism in Philadelphia is on the cusp of abolition. For years we've allowed this cancer to metastasize, invading all parts of our clergy and administration. For years we've ignored the wounds of our victims - which, left untreated, became mortal and spread to others. As a result, when the blinds were opened and the public saw these festering, horrifying injuries for what they were, trust was lost, faith wavered, and hope for healing became almost laughable.
The pain to those of us who love this Archdiocese! The pain of feeling her members torn, battered and broken! The pain of helplessness as we could do nothing but watch as priest after beloved priest was targeted and accused, convicted and removed... as we saw our friends and family defect, turning away from the Church and even condemning Her due to the impossibly grotesque offenses of Her representatives! Oh the pain of listening to report after report of the ever-increasing details of the accusations... and seeing the devastating pain of our victims!
This ongoing chastisement is necessary, but dear Lord, again I cry "Mercy!" I understand and trust this unparalleled "cleansing of the Temple" is something we brought about on our own, but please guide us to safer waters!
Ugh. I am so beyond heartbroken by this entire mess, and it seems like a never-ending rabbit hole.
Another one of our priests was removed today. News came out yesterday afternoon that he was being investigated for an improper relationship and possible abuse of minors. This priest was someone who mentored me, my siblings, and many of our friends.
I have no idea if the allegations are true or not, but the fact that Archbishop Chaput reacted swiftly and harshly to his case leads me to believe there is some validity to the claims against him.
My prayers are with him, the possible victims, and the families of those he may have harmed or turned away from the Church. May they all find peace, healing, love and forgiveness.
Le sigh... I truly have such a heavy, heavy heart right now. However, even in this hailstorm of folly, I recognize the mercy we've been given in Chaput.
Thank You, Lord, for the gift of Archbishop Chaput. No doubt You put him in place to steer this mostly capsized ship to harbor. May You be his strength and wisdom. May You be his beacon. May You be the wind that straightens our mangled sails.
_This letter was read last week by all Philly parishes. Having only recently left Philly for S. Jersey, I am still very interested in what goes on across the river. As a result, I asked my Philly folks what their reactions were to the letter.
Most, I am happy to report, were happy with this letter. They understood the need for relatively harsh words and welcomed the direction their new Archbishop seemed to be leading them. That made me happy.
It also made me sad to think many of the schools / parishes I'd grown up knowing and loving would be shuttering. Considering how many have already closed, it's almost painful to think of still MORE having to go defunct. Yet I agree with the fact that severe pruning needs to take place if we're going to see real, healthy growth.
So I'll leave the note here for others who wish to comment. What are your thoughts? Hoping for something like this in your own diocese? Already have a good, strong shepherd? Suggestions for those of us about to enter into the deeper pruning stages?
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