Los Angeles’s new archbishop is…

Jose Gomez of San Antonio, TX. He will be announced as LA’s coadjutor bishop at a press conference this morning, meaning he will take control of the archdiocese when Cardinal Mahony reaches retirement age next year.

The speculation over this appointment has been heated, and it’s groundbreaking in a number of ways. Whispers in the Loggia has more:

[T]he Mexican-born prelate — the lone American bishop professed as a numerary (full member) of Opus Dei — will make history, becoming the first Hispanic prelate to, in time, receive the red hat of a cardinal at the helm of a Stateside diocese.

The appointment would bring to a close several months’ worth of intense consultation and speculation since word of Cardinal Roger Mahony’s request for an understudy began circulating late last year. The classic ecclesiastical “good governance” provision, a coadjutor would first spend some months learning the ropes alongside the 74 year-old cardinal before succeeding to the helm of the 5 million member local church — its Catholic population estimated to be three-quarters Latino — shortly after Mahony reaches the retirement age of 75 next February 27th. (Among other attributes of its wildly-diverse ethnic makeup, Los Angeles — the nation’s second-largest city — is home to the world’s largest concentration of Mexicans outside Mexico City.)

Born in Monterrey and ordained for “The Work” in 1978, Gomez served in Texas from 1987 in both Houston and San Antonio. A former executive director and president of the National Association of Hispanic Priests, in 2001 Pope John Paul II named him an auxiliary to Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver. Less than four years later, the late pontiff rocketed the young bishop into the lone senior US post customarily held by a Latin cleric, naming Gomez to San Antonio in succession to the legendary Archbishop Patrick Flores. Six months after his installation there,TIME magazine named Gomez one of the nation’s 25 most influential Hispanics.

Archbishop Gomez will be inheriting the largest archdiocese in the country — as well as a pile of lawsuits brought about in the wake of the sex-abuse scandal. It’s a daunting task, but Rocco describes the archbishop as a “low-key, media savvy theologian committed to the late pontiff’s vision of the New Evangelization,” tools that should serve him well in taking on the challenge. Our prayers are with him!

 

Margaret Cabaniss

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Margaret Cabaniss is the former managing editor of Crisis Magazine. She joined Crisis in 2002 after graduating from the University of the South with a degree in English Literature and currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland. She now blogs at SlowMama.com.

  • Jesse

    Hooray! [smiley=happy]

  • I am not Spartacus

    Our Bishops are asked to submit letters of resignation when they turn 75 whereas we still have bed-wetters like nearly 90 year old John Paul Stevens snoring through arguments at the SCOTUS.

    It is said that the sylphidine, Ruth Bader Ginsburg,has, as one of her jobs, the task of elbowing to attention the snoring Stevens.

    And she completes that task with aplomb; except when she herself is snoozing on the bench.

    Someday, perhaps, the secularists will catch-up with the Catholic Church.

  • Austin

    Archbishop Gomez has his work cut out for him, cleaning up the lawsuit mess in Los Angeles. Hopefully, he can resolve these problems quickly and move on. Cardinal Mahoney left quite a mess and spent hundreds of millions of dollars on settlements.
    Hopefully, people in LA will be generous with their contributions and allow for Archbishop Gomez to resolve the claims and begin to spend money sensibly. I am not big on affirmative action, but given the ethnic makeup of Los Angeles, it does make sense to have a Mexican-American Archbishop. We should all wish him success and perhaps some good luck as well.

  • Todd M. Aglialoro

    Don’t let the door hit your red hat on the way out, Your Eminence.

  • w.

    Once the Easter season passes, how about a day (or sets of days, especially those who live in Archdiocese of LA) of prayer and fasting.

    And secondly, I suggest a reading of his pastoral letters, which are linked on his San Antonio archdiocese web page, as well as his videos there, “Matters of Faith.”

  • Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick

    He is reportedly for “comprehensive immigration reform.”

    Does this mean that he will add his voice in support of the Obama plan to create, via amnesty, an overwhelming Permanent Democrat Pro-Abortion Voting Bloc?

  • Fred

    Don’t let the door hit your red hat on the way out, Your Eminence.

    Come on, Todd. There’s such a thing as charity. I would expect to find it on a Catholic website.

  • w.

    He is reportedly for “comprehensive immigration reform.”

    Does this mean that he will add his voice in support of the Obama plan to create, via amnesty, an overwhelming Permanent Democrat Pro-Abortion Voting Bloc?

    Not necessarily. Yes, the archbishop is in favor of certain “rights” of the immigrant. Basic human rights. He actually has suggested that there be some punishment for those who break the law by coming and staying here. Not deportation, because that would hurt the family. Rather, something like community service.

    We have to insist that those who come to our country respect our laws. If they are here illegally, they can

  • Jason Negri

    Don’t let the door hit your red hat on the way out, Your Eminence.

    Come on, Todd. There’s such a thing as charity. I would expect to find it on a Catholic website.

    Hmmm… I thought Todd’s comment WAS remarkably charitable.

  • Deacon Ed

    Gomez does not make the same mistake as Dolan in Milwaukee when he allowed Weakland to continue hanging out, doing Confirmations and the like. At least now he’s safely ensconced in a NJ monastery (a good place for a Benedictine).

    Let’s see, where can Mahoney go? Any offers?

    • Margaret

      Weakland is not in a monastery in NJ. He continues to run Milwaukee from Milwaukee. Dolan was the best things that could have happened to Weakland!

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