Pope Benedict the 16th has named a replacement for Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony. Mahony turns 75 next February and, according to papal rules, is required to retire then. The Pope may turn down a retirement request, but the appointment of Archbishop Jose Gomez indicates this is Mahony’s final year.
His quarter-century as leader of the Los Angeles Archdiocese is highlighted by a $660 million settlement with hundreds of alleged victims of sexual abuse by priests. A federal grand jury also is looking into how the Archdiocese handled claims of abuse and has subpoenaed several witnesses.
Gomez is 58; he was born in Mexico and ordained a conservative Opus Dei priest in 1978. He served in Houston and Denver before being named Archbishop of San Antonio in 2004. He’ll become the highest ranking Latino in the American Catholic hierarchy.