LOS ANGELES, CA — Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez achieved a new first Tuesday when he was elected the first Latino bishop named president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Already, the highest- ranking Latino in the U.S. Catholic Church, Gomez’s influence continues to grow as a Latino leader among the nation’s Catholics.
The Mexican-born cleric was largely seen as a shoe-in for the position of leadership since his last historic milestone when he was selected as vice president of the national conference in 2016.
Among 10 nominees for the powerful position, Gomez garnered 176 votes cast both by bishops attending the conference and American bishops in Rome. His victory projected on the screen behind him, the prelate stood and thanked his counterparts, who greeted him with a standing ovation, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“I am humbled by this vote and my brother bishops’ trust in me,” Gomez said in a statement. “This election is an honor for me, and it recognizes the beautiful diversity and the missionary spirit of the family of God in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. But it is also a recognition of the essential place that Latino Catholics hold in the life of the church and in the life of our great nation.”
The bishops also elected Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit as their next vice president. The vice president traditionally becomes the group’s president in three years, at the beginning of the next term.
Click Here: liverpool mens jersey
Gomez, born in Monterrey, Mexico, has in recent years grown into a high-profile and authoritative voice in the American church, advocating for immigration reforms that would include a path to citizenship for immigrants living in the country illegally. The soft-spoken 67-year-old will begin his three-year term as president just as his tenure as vice president comes to an end.