Appointment of Archbishop Gomez Is a Nod to Mexican Faithful

Appointment of Archbishop Gomez Is a Nod to Mexican Faithful

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The appointment of San Antonio Archbishop Jose Gomez as Cardinal Roger Mahony's successor is welcome news in Los Angeles.

This succession is takes place at a time when the Catholic Church is experiencing a severe crisis. However, Mahony has been an unrelenting and courageous voice, expressing the Latino community's concerns. Cardinal Mahony’s retirement will leave an enormous hole that will be difficult to fill.

The ideological differences between these two religious leaders are significant. While Mahony was clearly part of the Church’s progressive wing, Gomez comes from the conservative Opus Dei movement. Only time will tell what the impact of this shift will be on the Church of Los Angeles.

At the same time, the Catholic Church has been one of the primary defenders of immigrants within the archdiocese that is 70 percent Latino. We hope and believe that its important advocacy role will not change.

Of course, there are also the Church’s overall challenges such as the paucity of new priests and the desertion of the faithful. The feeling of not belonging and frustration with the Church are reasons for the exodus of a significant number of Catholics to other Christian churches.

Finally, the appointment of Gomez has special significance in our city. The naming of a Mexican-born religious leader as Archbishop of Los Angeles is a recognition of the religious community that remains loyal to its religious and cultural roots and traditions.

We hope that the presence of Archbishop Jose Gomez will be a blessing for the Catholic Church and will contribute to the rich diversity that characterizes our city.