Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop Jose Horacio Gomez of San Antonio the coadjutor Archbishop of Los Angeles. As coadjutor, the Monterey-born Archbishop Gomez will automatically become the head of the L.A. Arch. upon Cardinal Roger Mahony's retirement. The L.A. Archdiocese has 4.2 million Catholics -- a large percentage of them Latinos.
Archbishop Gomez was here in 2008 (that's a Catholic Standard & Times/Joanna Lightner file photo of him at the head of this post) and here are some of his comments about immigration from the CS&T articles of May 22 and 29, 2008:
"In Catholic social teaching, the right to migrate is among the most basic human rights ... if a person can't find the necessities of life for his family, he has the right to leave his country and to seek these things in some other country. It's very close to the right to life. Why? Because God, our Father in Heaven, has created the good things of this world to be shared by all men and women. [...] No country can deny this basic human right out of exaggerated fears for security or selfish concerns about threats to domestic jobs or standards of living. And Catholic teaching presumes that the more prosperous a country is, the more generous that country should be in welcoming immigrants." (CS&T May 22, 2008, p. 58)
And from the CS&T issue of May 29, 2008, p. 25:
Christ is present in the migrant worker and the undocumented immigrant and what we do to them we do to Christ, he said. "This sense has been totally lost in the rhetoric of the immigration debates. To listen to talk radio or the cable news, and even to some of our politicians, it's as if the immigrant isn't even a person. Instead he's only a thief or a terrorist or a simple work animal. We need to promote solutions to this tragedy that reflect the values of Jesus Christ and the Gospel. [...] Although federal immigration reform was killed in Congress last year  after a bitter debate, more than 240 new laws were passed in 46 of our 50 states. Many of these new laws are harsh and punitive, and already they're creating injustices and economic hardships throughout the country. You can open the pages of the Wall Street Journal almost every day and find evidence that our nation's economy can't prosper, or even operate efficiently, without a large immigrant workforce."
For another post about Archbishop Gomez, go to my post of Sept. 18, 2009.