Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Gomez, Mahony are a study in contrasts

In more than two decades leading the Los Angeles Archdiocese, Cardinal Roger Mahony headlined immigration rallies, marched for worker rights and made national news by announcing he would defy a congressional bill he regarded as anti-immigrant.

But the man who replaced him in 2011 — Archbishop Jose Gomez — has shied away from such attention-getting actions. Instead, he plans to take 60 conservative Catholic business leaders on a spiritual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City this fall in hopes of winning them over on immigration reform.

It's a distinctly different style from that of Mahony, whom Pope John Paul II nicknamed "Hollywood" for his frequent media appearances.

"Cardinal Mahony was pretty much everywhere," said parishioner Carlos De Leon as he departed from Ash Wednesday Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels last week. "Archbishop Gomez seems much more behind the scenes. It's a different management style."

Yet Gomez has begun quietly making his mark on the archdiocese, the nation's largest with 4.5 million Roman Catholics in 120 Southern California cities.

LOS ANGELES (CA)

Los Angeles Times

By Teresa Watanabe and Rebecca Trounson, Los Angeles Times
February 16, 2013