Archbishop Gomez Addresses Immigration with Prophetic Insight and Clarity
We are first Catholics and, as such, we need to approach this issue - and every 'social issue
'We are called to live our faith in our businesses, homes and communities, and in our participation in public life.That means we have to bring a Catholic faith perspective to this debate about immigration. We cannot just think about this issue as Democrats or Republicans or as liberals or conservatives.'
Archbishop Jose H. Gomez
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On April 6, 2010 Archbishop Jose H. Gomez was appointed Co-Adjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles California and assumed the office of Archbishop of Los Angeles on February 27, 2011. He is highly regarded for his theological orthodoxy, warm pastoral heart and teaching gifts.
Though he is loved by many people, he is, in a special way, loved within the Hispanic community. He has an abiding friendship with the Archbishop of Mexico City. He was born in Monterrey, Mexico. He is the only "Numerary" (celibate and lifelong member) of the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei currently serving in episcopal office. He was ordained a priest for Opus Dei in 1978. He first served as an auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop Charles Chaput in Denver. Then, he was sent to San Antonio where he again served with distinction. Time Magazine named the Bishop one of the most influential Hispanic leaders in America.
He has been a long time proponent of the "New Evangelization" advocated by Blessed John Paul II, to whom he has had a long and deep devotion. His marvelous letter entitled "You Will Be My Witnesses" is one of the best statements on the Call to the New Evangelization available. On Sunday, March 6, 2011 he gave his first homily as the Archbishop of Los Angeles. It was wonderful, reflecting his passion for the New Evangelization, it was appropriately titled "Our world needs a new evangelization!"
In it he said: "We are living in a time when the awareness of God is fading away. More and more people are living in indifference, with no religion at all. Our society increasingly encourages a kind of practical atheism in which people go about their daily lives as if God does not exist. This is a false path, my friends. It can't lead to true freedom or happiness.
"We can see this all around us in our society. Indifference to God leads to indifference to the needs of the weak and vulnerable. When we don't believe we have a Father in heaven, we find it harder to live as brothers and sisters here on earth.Our world needs a new evangelization! We need a new mission to the American continent! We need to bring the beauty of the Gospel to the people of our time. This is our task as the Church of Los Angeles! "
He is also a passionate advocate for the poor and the authentic Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church. On July 28, 2011 he gave an extraordinary address to the Napa Institute entitled "Immigration and the "Next America": Perspectives from Our History" which can be - and should be - read in its entirety here. In introductory remarks he said: "Our political debate about immigration in America frustrates me. Often I think we are we are just talking around the edges of the real issues.Both sides of this argument are inspired by a beautiful, patriotic idea of America's history and values. But lately I've been starting to wonder. What America are we really talking about? America is changing and it has been changing for a long time. The forces of globalization are changing our economy and forcing us to rethink the scope and purpose of our government. Threats from outside enemies are changing our sense of national sovereignty.
"America is changing on the inside, too.Our culture is changing. We have a legal structure that allows, and even pays for, the killing of babies in the womb. Our courts and legislatures are redefining the natural institutions of marriage and the family. We have an elite culture - in government, the media and academia - that is openly hostile to religious faith.
"America is becoming a fundamentally different country. It is time for all of us to recognize this - no matter what our position is on the political issue of immigration.We need to recognize that immigration is part of a larger set of questions about our national identity and destiny. What is America? What does it mean to be an American? "Who are we as a people - and where are heading as a country? What will the "next America" look like?
"As Catholics who are faithful citizens in America, we have to answer these questions within a larger frame of reference. We have to always remember that there is more to the life of any nation than the demands of the moment in politics, economics and culture. We have to consider all of those demands and the debates about them in light of God's plan for the nations.
"This is a big challenge for us in this culture. Our culture pushes us to "privatize" our faith, to separate our faith from our life in society. We always have to resist that temptation. We are called to live our faith in our businesses, homes and communities, and in our participation in public ...
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