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New leader of Philadelphia Catholic archdiocese installed

The 1.3 million parishioners of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia have a new spiritual leader.

Nelson Perez, 58, who spent most of his early pastoral career in the Philadelphia area, assumed the post of archbishop in a ceremony Tuesday at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul.

Perez, the former bishop of Cleveland, is the first Hispanic archbishop to lead the five-county Philadelphia archdiocese. He is the 14th Roman Catholic bishop and 10th archbishop of Philadelphia.

Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez, seated center, reacts during his installation at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 Pérez, who is the 10th archbishop of Philadelphia, is the first Latino archbishop in Philadelphia. (David MaialettiThe Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

He succeeds Archbishop Charles Chaput, who stepped down after turning 75 last year, the traditional retirement age for Catholic bishops.

The Mass of Installation followed a procession of hundreds of cardinals, bishops, priests, deacons and seminarians to the city's cathedral church.

Perez attended the diocesan seminary in Philadelphia in the 1980s and served in a number of Philadelphia parishes before being named as an auxiliary bishop in Rockville Centre, New York, and then bishop of Cleveland in 2017.

Philadelphia police commissioner Danielle Outlaw, right, waves to the audience after a round of applause while greeting Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez during his installation at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia on Tuesday, February 18, 2020. Pérez who is the 10th archbishop of Philadelphia, is the first Latino archbishop in Philadelphia. (David MaialettiThe Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez sits in the Catherdra, the Bishops Seat, for the first time as Archbishop of Philadelphia Tuesday, February 18, 2020. Pérez the 10th archbishop of Philadelphia, is the first Latino archbishop in Philadelphia. (David MaialettiThe Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

Kathia Arango, left, director of the Office for Hispanic Catholics, talks with Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez, right, before his installation at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. Pérez, 58, who is the 10th archbishop of Philadelphia, is the first Latino archbishop in Philadelphia. (David MaialettiThe Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

A program for the installation Mass of Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez sits in a pew at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020 Pérez, 58, who is the 10th archbishop of Philadelphia, is the first Latino archbishop in Philadelphia. (David MaialettiThe Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

Philadelphia Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez gestures for his relatives in the back of the Cathedral Chapel to come forward so they can sit in the Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul and watch his installation Mass, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, in Philadelphia. Pérez was most recently the bishop of Cleveland. (Michael BryantThe Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)