Archbishop Gomez Lenten message

Includes mention of Mahony
Archbishop Gomez (photo by Patrick Novecosky)

Archbishop Gomez (photo by Patrick Novecosky)

Written by Archbishop José H. Gomez February 8 on the L.A. archdiocese website.

There have been challenging days for our local Church here in Los Angeles.
I have been talking and reflecting with Cardinal Mahony and Bishop Curry, along with our other Auxiliary Bishops about the events of last week. We are committed to moving forward in our ministries with hope and confidence in God’s grace.

We need to keep praying for those who are hurting. We need to ask again for forgiveness for the sins of the past and for our own failings. And we need to match our prayers for grace with concrete actions of healing and renewal.

And recent events should inform our prayer, penance and charity in this season of Lent, which begins next week with Ash Wednesday.

All of us need the grace of a new conversion. This is what Lent is for.

We need to be transformed once more by the person of Jesus Christ and the power of his Gospel. We need to live our faith with new sincerity, new zeal, new purpose and new purity. We need a new desire to be his disciples.

I cannot say it enough: We all need to rediscover the essential message of the Gospel — that we are children of a God who loves us and who calls us to be one family in his Church and to make this world his Kingdom, a city of love and truth.

The challenge we face — now and always, as individuals and as a Church — is to resist the temptation to only follow Jesus “half way.” We should never settle for mediocrity or minimum standards in our life of faith. There are no “good enough” Christians, only Christians who are not doing enough good.

Our world today needs saints. We can’t wait for others. We need to become those saints ourselves. We need to inspire others around us to want to be saints.
To read entire message, click here.


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  1. Rhythm band says:

    Catholic Bishops do not have ‘Ministries’. That is for protestants. Catholic Bishops have ‘Apostolates’, which is territorial.

    Within Catholic theology, “ministry” pertains to the administration of a sacrament; or the celebration of liturgy and all that pertains to the liturgical functioning of the Church and as such is specific to those with Holy Orders which I do not believe is what Archbishop Gomez is referring to.

    Otherwise this is a great letter to focus us on the penitential season.

    • I think that ministry has several definitions, Rhythm, including the very one you cited. Yet there are numerous “ministries” that all Christ’s priests and people can be involved in … Eucharistic ministry, ministry to the grieving and bereaved, social concerns ministry, liturgical ministries (EMHCs, ushers and greeters, lectors/readers, altar servers, music director and choirs/schola cantorum, liturgy directors, decor/environment, etc.). All of these ministries extend from and are part of the fabric of the holy priesthood all share in Christ Jesus.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      You just pointed out what may be the big issue we are facing… this culture and its language has water-downed Catholicism. Perhaps that is why scandals like Cardinal Dolan’s famous dinner with Obama and other scandals are becoming more and more the trend.

  2. When Archbishop Gomez refers to Cdl Mahony and Bishop Curry being committed to moving forward in their ministries I’m sickened. I sincerely hope and pray our Holy Father will remove both of them from public ministry.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      Loraine you are not the only one sickened by it, I’m sure many of this disobedience is what is ailing our current Pope’s health as well…it can’t be good.

  3. Nice message from Archbishop Gomez but no changes for the Archdiocese. I am grateful Cardinal Mahony and Bishop Curry are out. I expect changes and more charity for the Latin Traditional Mass in Los Angeles and Ventura County.

  4. In the LA Times yesterday: Cardinal Mahony used cemetery money to pay sex abuse settlement
    The Archdiocese of L.A. took $115 million from its cemeteries’ maintenance fund in 2007, nearly depleting it. The move seems legal, but it was not announced, and relatives of the dead were not told.

  5. It is Cardinal Mahony and Bishop Curry who should reflect on the injury they have caused Catholicism in Los Angeles during the 25 years of their lamentable control. These vipers are very dangerous, and Archbishop Gomez should not trust them. We need a change of direction.

  6. Cardinal Mahony seems to have misunderstood what the Catholic Church is all about. His behavior in relation to the priests abuses is indefensible.

    Archbishop Gomez on January 31 informed Cardinal Mahoney that he will no longer have any administrative duties. He also accepted the request from Bishop Curry to be relieved of his responsibilities as the Regional Bishop of Santa Barbara. I was delighted with this news, but maybe it was too good to be true.

    Now Archbishop Gomez declared today that he is talking and reflecting with Cardinal Mahoney and Bishop Curry. These two men have been the cancer of our Archdiocese for many years in relation to the priests abuses and also for the liturgy of our Church. What is there to talk about?

    What is happening in our Archdiocese? I am very disappointed.

    • Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

      Brought to you by the Ever creative LA Congress, where dissenting theologians and aspiring Nun priests gather.

  7. Lenten prayers for Archbishop Gomez.

    Taken from just ask Yahoo: Who said “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”?

    An Insensitive Man

    Dear Insensitive: While many attribute the quote to William Shakespeare, it actually comes from a play called the “The Mourning Bride” (1697) by William Congreve. The complete quote is “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned / Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.”

    • Abeca Christian says:

      Catherine the way you posted this comment, I am not understanding you? Are you saying that someone from our church said this? This concerns me.

      • I suspect her post was meant for another discussion, Abeca. Congreve was an English playwright. I just heard a recent ‘play’ on that quote though…Heaven hath no fury like an ex-Catholic.

  8. Maryanne Leonard says:

    Since Archbishop Gomez is taking a Catholic Lite approach to The Scandal, meaning of decades of priestly abuse of our precious children, and the Mahony/Curry conscious cover-ups, let us pray for a new pope to succeed our beloved Pope Benedict.

    There is no doubt in my mind that consternation about what to do about Cardinal Mahony and his collaborator(s) was and is a tremendous source of stress for this great man of intellect, faith, compassion and honor. To defrock the man would put the Catholic Church and these sins and failings front and center in the news media for months and even years, thus weakening the Church in its mission to evangelize. To fail to do so allows a cancer to exist unremoved from within the body of the Church.

    I would not like to be in his position, and I am full of compassion and sorrow that the best thing for the Pope to do at his advanced age is to ascend into a life of prayer during his final days on earth. His entire papacy has been a spiritual gift to us all, and now he wisely is giving himself the gift of withdrawal into a life of prayer and meditation to prepare himself for being welcomed into the loving arms of the Lord.

    Cardinal Mahony et al should do the same. If Cardinal Mahony dares to show up at the convocation of the College of Cardinals, I will hold Archbishop Gomez responsible for not doing enough to rid us of the stench of this arrogant criminal cardinal, whose life story brings dishonor upon the title. Perhaps the local civil authorities will move against the Cardinal in time to prevent this, but I do not put my faith in the swiftness or unerring effectiveness of our criminal justice system. My faith is in God alone, as I have lived to see that only the misguided put our faith and trust in fallible man or his governments or even the human beings leading us in the greatest Church of all. No wonder our founding fathers declared, “In God We Trust.” Amen.

    • Of course Cardinal Mahoney will show up at the convocation of the College of Cardinals, he has no shame. He must be pressing Archbishop Gomez in an amazing way. I did not know Pope Benedict XVI was stepping aside when I wrote the two previous posts.

    • Dear Archbishop Gomez,

      You wrote these truthful words of wisdom: “The challenge we face — now and always, as individuals and as a Church — is to resist the temptation to only follow Jesus “half way.” We should never settle for mediocrity or minimum standards in our life of faith. There are no “good enough” Christians, only Christians who are not doing enough good.

      Our world today needs saints. We can’t wait for others. We need to become those saints ourselves. We need to inspire others around us to want to be saints.”

      Archbishop Gomez……Be not afraid!

      “If God is for us, who can be against us”…..Romans 8:31

      Douay-Rheims Haydock Commentary: “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who is against us? That is, though we live amidst temptations and afflictions in this life, we need not fear as long as we are faithful in the service of God, under his protection. — If God be for us, who is against us, or who shall hinder us from being saved.”

      Please clean Our Lord’s House! Sacramental and catechetical remedies will always prevail over the mediocre use of secular groups or agencies or other half way secular remedies. You, are our shepherd and you have the God given authority to lead us and inspire us by using the good and proper remedies of the Church! As you stated, this is also you’re opportunity to become a saint! You have the prayerful support of so many people. Be not afraid! Teach not only with wise words but also in complimentary union with Christ’s sacrifice and inspire us in the sincerity of those words by following through with faithful actions.

      Our Lord said it clearly and perfectly, Mark 8:34 Douay – Rheims, “If any man will follow me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

    • Public SCANDAL such as that of cover-up of child abuse or allowing ‘Catholic’ politicians to promote evil – weakens our ability to evangelize.

      Public excommunication (ab homine) through Canon 1399 and following St. Paul’s teaching in the Bible 1 Cor 5:11-13 teach the entire the world that we have truth and principles.
      And that our Church leaders do not just merely give lip service against evil.
      It proves to the world that all of our leaders really believe in the REAL PRESENCE and against SACRILEGE.
      Strength of character for the truth against obstinate and grave sin would make evangelization much easier. Not to mention slowing relativism, secularism, heresy and schism within the Church.
      It might also discourage some Catholic politicians from committing grave and obstinate sin.
      Most CA Bishops/Abp do not do their jobs.

  9. Time for Archbishop Gomez to clean house. All of the old Mahonyites who run the Chancery and the “ministries” need to be replaced during Lent.

    Now that would be a real conversion.

  10. The Religious Education Congress, a Lenten fixture in the Archdiocese, begins in less than two weeks.

    • Video tape and take pics of the REC.
      Show the abuses, heresies and schisms being supported.
      Distribute copies to the Catholic press, US Papal Nuncio, Vatican, and Diocese Bishop.
      The Diocese Bishop is ultimately responsibile for everything “Catholic’ happening within his Diocese.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      Dave N.,

      Yes and it is replete with pro-sodomites, pro-abortion speakers, anti-Papal speakers, etc. etc.

      Go to for the complete list. You can also email me at for a list that marks in red, yellow, and green the speakers. The colors should be self sufficient to identify the speakers.

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

      • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

        I am also going to back light some speakers in lavender. Again the color should be sufficient identity.

        God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
        Kenneth M. Fisher

    • Maryanne Leonard says:

      It is shocking to read the distortion with which the promoters of the Religious Education Congress tried to explain away – in their latest e-mail promotional material – the protesters who work to warn attendees against the heresies and schisms being promoted inside the REC.

      I am wondering why Archbishop Gomez has not taken the time to look into the problems there. One has to assume he countenances that which he permits to continue, but that doesn’t seem to resonate with that which we believe he believes.

      Perhaps he is spending too much time chatting up (I can barely stand to pronounce his title) Cardinal Mahony, (ditto) Bishop Curry, and perhaps a few more of the high and mighty criminal co-conspiritors in the obstruction of justice and attempts to hide criminal priests, not to mention providing them further opportunities to explore new flesh, sending them to posts filled with more and more children to abuse.

      All my friends know I am Catholic and remain so despite shameful accounts in the daily news of what goes on at the highest level in my archdiocese, including this new revelation of spending lots of time with “Catholic” criminals at the highest levels. I am having more and more trouble ‘splainin’ myself and my Catholicism to my friends with deep pride in the behavior of our local Catholic priests and hierarchy. Children in my own parish were victims of priestly abuse. Those two words do not belong together!

      I nearly had my Protestant husband won over to Catholicism; he now avers he will attend the Church he so admires in terms of what it professes but will never join and appear to support these shocking outrages, which continue with our new Archbishop choosing to chat up at length these high-level criminals while ignoring reforms such as are needed at the REC.

      I have given up on ever attracting any more of my friends to converting than already have. I am ashamed of what has gone on – and worse, what is still going on – in my church. I beg Archbishop Gomez to clean up the House of God! Failure to do so is nothing more than a dereliction of duty – to God, to the Church, and to us, the long-suffering lay faithful.

      • What did the email say?

        • Maryanne Leonard says:

          On the front page of the latest e-mailing from the Religious Education Congress (REC) coming up in a couple of weeks, highlighted in a large box, headlined in brilliant fuschia, and in italics, the following posting on Yelp was quoted prominently:

          “And we had to share this review on that just came to our attention:
          Some people go to Tibet, Bali, or India for spiritual rejuvenation or enlightenment. Others take to the deserts in the Americas or the mountains in the Andes. I head to Orange County, California. For nearly a decade, I have joined thousands of other Catholics for a weekend of workshops, liturgies (I love hearing my favorite gospel singer!), and camaraderie. I call it visiting the Catholic planet. Don’t let the name fool you; you don’t have to be a Catholic school teacher or catechist to take part or even a staunch Catholic. In fact, LA Congress has conservative Catholic protesters every year taking issue with the multicultural liturgies and/or the messages of inclusiveness.”

          I think the last sentence is a complete distortion of the reason for protests and the fact that they quoted this and displayed it so very prominently on their first page tells me that they are willing to promulgate distortions and obfuscations to the Catholic public and beyond. Since obfuscation has been ruling the day here in our Catholic world in Southern California for at least 4 decades, I suppose they believe obfuscation and distortions are excellent substitues for bald-faced lies. However, obfuscate and distort for long enough, and pretty soon you lose the ability to discern the difference, and even your thinking morphs into twisted deception, including self-deceptions of every sort.

          Lies and deceptions are common throughout the non-Christian world; if the Catholic world slides down into the cesspool of untruthfulness, we will be lost, and the hope of the world along with it. Insist on the light of truth!

          • Maryanne Leonard, thank you for your response to my question. I agree with you that they are distorting the reason for the protest based on what Mr. Fisher says in his posts.

            That’s a very interesting “review”. It is saying — Don’t worry if you’re not that hot on Catholicism — the REC isn’t very catholic. Notice how it compares it to “spiritual but not religious” experiences. Wow. Thanks for sharing this.

  11. good cause says:

    The special convocation of Cardinals may be looked upon by the press as a farce of sorts; cardinals like Mahony who covered up child abuse for decades, selecting the next Pope, who is the Church’s CEO and owes some loyalty to the Cardinals who elected him. What’s wrong with this picture?

    May God sent us a Pontiff who is worthy of support by the laity. Both Pope Benedict and his predecessor turned a blind eye to the abuse problem and assisted in the worldwide coverup that has destroyed the Church’s crediblity, finnaces, and mission.

    The only hope the Church has to turn the page is actually turn the page…..i.e., investige no matter where it leads, bring in fresh leadership to seek out wrongdoing and correct it, hold Vatican and upper mangement accountable for misconduct, make personnel changes when warranted. None of these things were done by the last two Popes, and the Church has suffered greatly under their stewardship.

  12. Jeff Culbreath says:

    “Our world today needs saints. Not ‘other-worldly’ saints — but saints in our cities, our families, our parishes and schools, our media, our businesses, legislatures and courts.”

    Why do Catholics these days always insist on deriding “other worldliness” as though it’s a bad thing? All saints are “other worldly” saints. Would the Archbishop prefer worldly saints? We are pilgrims in this world. Ironically, only by aiming for heaven can any lasting good accomplished in this world.

  13. Archbishop Gomez will have been in charge for only two years on February 27, 2013 (the Cardinal’s Birthday). He will need our support to withstand the Mahony-Curry backlash for relieving them of administrative duties. Cardinal Mahony will be a formidable adversary after the Conclave. Los Angeles should stand with our Archbishop.

    • Maryanne Leonard says:

      Gratias, your thoughts are well taken. Why do you say (the man who still is Cardinal) Mahony will be a formidable adversary after the Conclave? I am thinking he and Bishop Curry must have been given Archbishop Gomez a grand portion of their minds for (ugh! still-Cardinal) Mahony published his finger-shaking words against Archbishop Gomez last week. Our still-new archbishop has shown some gumption in dealing with Cardinal Mahony and Bishop Curry, but it still feels like “too little, too late,” or anyway, a long time coming, and hopefully still more to come. It must be hard for him in his status as someone less exalted in hierarchical status, and you’re right, he deserves our support. I also think he needs our encouragement (exhortations?) to do more, but maybe when we get a new pope, we’ll finally see some definitive action from the Vatican in moving against Cardinal Mahony as one would hope and pray. I just don’t understand your comment about Cardinal Mahony’s being more difficult than usual after the attends the Conclave. Can you help me understand?

  14. The most direct way to communicate with Archbishop Gomez is:

    He will certainly need our support in the Mahony wars.

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