LA's Gómez elected 1st Hispanic to lead US Catholic bishops

November 12, 2019 - 9:38 am

BALTIMORE (AP) — Archbishop José Gómez of Los Angeles, an immigrant from Mexico, overwhelmingly won election Tuesday as the first Hispanic to head the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Gómez, 67, has been serving as the conference's vice president for the past three years. Regarding doctrine, he is considered a practical-minded conservative, but he is a strong advocate of a welcoming immigration policy that would include a path to citizenship for many immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

In August, after a gunman targeting Mexicans killed 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, Gómez wrote a powerful statement condemning white supremacy and noting that Spanish was spoken in North America before English.

Gómez succeeds Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, whose presidency was complicated by the church's clergy sex-abuse crisis.

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