(Photo: Eric Gay/AP)
Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Los Angeles archdiocese leader Cardinal Roger M. Mahony's potential replacement, the L.A. Times reports:
The pontiff appointed Jose Gomez as co-adjutor archbishop of Los Angeles, an assisting position that essentially puts him first in line to succeed Mahony, who reaches the mandatory retirement age of 75 for bishops in February.
Gomez is archbishop of San Antonio, a post he took up five years ago, during the last few months of John Paul II's papacy. Gomez, 58, is also a member of Opus Dei, the controversial order favored by John Paul II for its conservative teachings.
The selection of Gomez was apparently a nod to the demographics of Los Angeles, where Latinos form a large part of the overall population and especially of the region's Roman Catholics. Gomez was born in Monterrey, Mexico, and speaks fluent Spanish.
There's obviously huge symbolism to naming a Latino bishop to the Los Angeles post.