Jose Gomez Named New Archbishop of Los Angeles

Amy Munday's picture

The new Archbishop of Los Angeles is going to be Mexican-born Jose Gomez, 58. The Pope named the new Archbishop of L.A. today to succeed archbishop, Cardinal Roger Mahony. Mahony is set to retire on his 75th birthday, February 27th of next year.

Jose Gomez's appointment as the new Archbishop of Los Angeles is monumental for the American Catholic Church. Gomez's ethnicity is sign of the growing influence of Latino people in America as he will be the highest ranking and first Latino cardinal in the U.S. American Catholic hierarchy.

Before Gomez was chosen as the new Archbishop of L.A., he was leader of Archdiocese of San Antonio. "This just recognizes the reality on the ground that the center of gravity of U.S. Catholicism is moving to the South and West and is becoming increasingly Hispanic," stated David Gibson as reported by AP. Gibson is a Catholic writer for

The growing number of Hispanics in the U.S. has brought a higher prevalence of Catholicism. AP reports that over 50 percent of Catholics under age 25 are Latino.

"Archbishop Gomez was first chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, and now chairs the Committee on National Collections’ Subcommittee for the Church in Latin America and the Task Force on the Spanish-language Bible. He is chair-elect of the Committee on Migration and a member of the Committee on Doctrine," states the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The new Archbishop of Las Angeles was born in Monterey, Mexico. He attended college in Mexico, Rome and Spain. Gomez was ordained a priest of Opus Dei in 1978 in Spain.

Father Gomez held positions in several U.S. Catholic organizations. "Between 1995-1999, he was president of the National Association of Hispanic Priests (ANSH) and its executive director, 1999-2001. He was treasurer of the National Catholic Council of Hispanic Ministry, 1998-2001." (USCCB)

The Los Angeles Archdiocese is the largest Archdiocese in the U.S. making the Latino appointment monumental for L.A. and the Catholic Church. The population is 36 percent Catholic, or 4,176,296 people.

Written by Amy Munday

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