The announcement today of Archbishop Jose Gomez as the successor to Cardinal Roger Mahoney as the next archbishop of Los Angeles is of enormous importance to the Roman Catholic Church in America, North America and the world. Los Angeles is a diocese of extraordinary importance because of its sheer numbers of Catholics but also because of its unique setting in the world's culture. The pressing need for a godly leader in the capital of international culture was why I had hoped that Denver's Archbishop Charles Chaput would be the next archbishop of LA, but Archbishop Gomez has been an associate of Chaput's for many years, and his Opus Dei roots also portend not just vigorous advocacy for the materially poor of the region, but also for those who are spiritually impoverished.
An early indication that Gomez is a wonderful choice for LA? The amiable if almost always misguided lefty-Catholic-in-residence-at-the-formerly-influential Los Angeles Times,, Tim Rutten, is deeply concerned.
If Archbishop Gomez helps lead a repetition in LA of the pattern of his San Antonio diocese and the Denver archdiocese where he was first ordained a bishop, Los Angeles' Catholics will soon be experiencing a spiritual renewal accompanied by a surge in vocations and devotions. Prayers for his success.