The Most Reverend Nelson J. Perez, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio, was elected chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church. The election took place today at the annual meeting of the USCCB in Baltimore, Maryland.
Bishop Perez will serve for one year as chairman-elect before beginning a three-year term at the conclusion of the bishops’ 2018 Fall General Assembly.
The Cultural Diversity Committee is mandated to assist the U.S. bishops in instilling the vision of Encuentro 2000 and to bring Catholics of various culturally diverse communities into a fuller participation in the faith, life and evangelization mission of the Church. It is to serve as a resource to promote the teachings of the Church and offer the resources of the USCCB to dioceses and national Catholic organizations, especially those ministering in culturally diverse settings, to migrants and refugees and to people on the move.
In accepting the post, Bishop Perez reflected on understanding the needs and benefits of diversity in our times. Quoting from the committee’s mission statement he said, “The experience of diversity is more characteristic of our times and brings with it great opportunities . . . Jesus Christ commended his followers to ‘teach all nations’ and that is precisely because we are ‘Catholic’ — that is universal — and have always taken this command seriously. It is the Church’s mission to evangelize and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”