Source: USCCB/Los Angeles
Archbishop José H Gomez of Los Angeles was elected president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) today, during the Fall General Assembly in Baltimore. Archbishop Gomez 67, was elected president on the first ballot with 176 votes. The Archbishop has served as vice president of the Conference since 2016. Archbishop Allen H Vigneron of Detroit was elected as USCCB vice president. Both the new president and vice president terms begin at the conclusion of this year's General Assembly.
In an interview with CNA, the Archbishop said: "I just wanted to be a priest. Somehow God wanted me to do what I am doing, and I'm just counting on the grace of God to be able to be faithful to what God is asking me to do."
He added that he was also counting on the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, explaining that he has entrusted all of his ministry as a bishop to the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Born in Monterrey, Mexico, has long advocated for immigration reforms that would include a path to citizenship for immigrants living in the country illegally.
Fr Thomas J Reese, a senior analyst at Religion News Service, said: "This is huge. Having a Mexican American as the president of the bishops conference sends a real message to Hispanics across the country, showing that not only are they part of the church, they are part of the leadership of the church at the highest level."
"This is a Mexican immigrant who is going to be the leader at a time when immigrants are demonized," Reese said. "This is a symbolic message from the bishops on the importance of the immigration issue to the them, and the importance of immigrants to the Catholic Church and in American society."
Writer and commentator Fr James Martin SJ, tweeted: "Congratulations to Archbishop José Gomez, a wise and compassionate pastor, and just elected as the first Latino president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops @USCCB. An historic vote that shows, once again, the vital importance of the Latino community in the US church."
Biography of Archbishop Gomez - http://archbishopgomez.org/about-archbishop
Biography of Archbishop Vigneron - www.aod.org/our-archdiocese/archbishop-allen-vigneron/
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