Gomez after two years

Liberals and conservatives weigh in
Mahony and Gomez - from LA Times story

Mahony and Gomez – from LA Times story

The following February 16 story appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

In more than two decades leading the Los Angeles Archdiocese, Cardinal Roger Mahony headlined immigration rallies, marched for worker rights and made national news by announcing he would defy a congressional bill he regarded as anti-immigrant.

But the man who replaced him in 2011 — Archbishop Jose Gomez — has shied away from such attention-getting actions. Instead, he plans to take 60 conservative Catholic business leaders on a spiritual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City this fall in hopes of winning them over on immigration reform.

It’s a distinctly different style from that of Mahony, whom Pope John Paul II nicknamed “Hollywood” for his frequent media appearances.

“Cardinal Mahony was pretty much everywhere,” said parishioner Carlos De Leon as he departed from Ash Wednesday Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angelslast week. “Archbishop Gomez seems much more behind the scenes. It’s a different management style.”

Yet Gomez has begun quietly making his mark on the archdiocese, the nation’s largest with 4.5 million Roman Catholics in 120 Southern California cities.

He has elevated issues such as opposition to abortion and euthanasia. He has promoted evangelization and religious education and embraced more conservative voices.

At the same time, he has not led an ideological purge of the archdiocese as some liberals had feared might happen under a cleric associated with the orthodox Opus Dei organization. Gomez has not, for instance, shut down a program Mahony developed that has trained lay leaders, particularly women, for powerful church roles, said Claire Henning, a pastoral associate at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Westwood.

“I was one of the first to say, ‘Oh my God, Opus Dei,’” Henning said. “But I’ve been very impressed. I had a lot of presuppositions about him which were wrong.”

One of Gomez’s most ambitious initiatives has largely gone unnoticed in English-speaking Los Angeles: active outreach to Latinos, who comprise 70% of archdiocese members and 60% of Catholics under the age of 35 nationwide.

The archbishop has launched a weekly Spanish-language radio and TV show to teach the faith, covering such topics as marriage and respect for life, that reaches an audience of more than 2 million.

The 61-year-old Mexico native has also attended popular Spanish-language gatherings — Our Lady of Guadalupe celebrations at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum and a Divine Mercy conference at the L.A. Convention Center, for instance.

For Frances Guerrero, the archbishop’s outreach has had a powerful effect on her family.

The parishioner at St. John the Baptist church in Baldwin Park said she has brought her family to see the archbishop celebrate Mass, preside over a cultural festival and speak at a Guadalupe event sponsored by Univision, the Spanish-language television network. Each encounter has deepened her family’s connection with Gomez, she said, drawing her husband back to church.

“We feel very connected to the archbishop,” she said. “He makes you feel welcome, at home and important.”

Gomez believes Catholics must first know their faith to understand the theological reasons for taking stands on social issues, said Father Virgilio Elizondo, a longtime friend in San Antonio, where Gomez previously served as archbishop.

In his first pastoral letter last October, he announced a push for a “new evangelization” to combat society’s increasing secularism and said his first priority would be to increase teaching about Catholic beliefs and how to apply them in parishioners’ daily lives and the world. The Spanish-language broadcasts are part of that push.

“He’s concerned about social justice but feels if you’re not well-grounded in the basics, then it can be seen as just activism and not … evangelization of the Gospel,” Elizondo said.

Gomez, for instance, has proclaimed that respect for life is the “true foundation” of justice and peace. As a result, he has expanded the mission of the archdiocese’s peace and justice office to includeissues such as abortion, contraception and euthanasia and renamed it the Office of Life, Justice and Peace. The department that had handled those issues had been eliminated under budget cuts several years ago.

Some conservatives say he hasn’t gone far enough.

It irks some of them that he has not yet rid the archdiocese’s annual Religious Education Congress — the world’s largest gathering of Catholic workshops and exhibits, scheduled for this week — of speakers who promote such causes as gay rights and other causes they consider anti-Catholic.

Still, Gomez has welcomed conservatives who say they were shut out by Mahony in years past, such as Terry Barber, a Covina-based producer and distributor of multimedia Catholic educational material. Barber said he was told by Mahony’s theologian that he was too conservative and didn’t fully embrace Catholic theology.

In 2011, Gomez summoned a Los Angeles-ordained gay celibate priest and Georgetown University professor who was advocating same-sex marriage rights in Washington, D.C. The priest, Joseph Palacios, said Gomez told him he was being pressured by Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl to silence him.

Gomez gave him time to consider his options; after a year, Palacios placed himself on inactive clerical status.

“He doesn’t come in and bulldoze what was here but adds to the mix,” said John Allen, senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter.


In light of his quiet style, parishioners were stunned last month when Gomez publicly rebuked Mahony in a letter released alongside a raft of documents on the church’s mishandling of the sex abuse crisis. The documents showed that Mahony plotted with other church officials to prevent police from investigating priests accused of molesting children.

In the Jan. 31 letter, Gomez said he was relieving his predecessor of “any administrative and public duties,” although he later clarified that Mahony remains a bishop in good standing.

Gomez’s action was seen as an unprecedented public rebuke of Mahony — and friends said it was uncharacteristic.

“His style is subtle, careful and cautious,” said Tim Busch, an Orange County businessman and close friend of Gomez. “He is much more soft in style and doesn’t want to offend anyone. He knows where he wants to go, but he’s going to take his time getting there.”

On Friday, Gomez sent out a new letter urging parishioners to pray for Mahony as he goes to Rome to help select a new pope. He said Mahony’s accomplishments and experience with such issues as immigration and social justice would “serve the College of Cardinals well” during deliberations to elect a new pope.

Gomez declined an interview request.


Since moving to Los Angeles, Gomez has been overwhelmed but fascinated by the city’s size and spiritual diversity, colleagues say.

At an interfaith welcome reception, he was interested to learn about Sikhs and other non-Christians present, according to Father Alexei Smith, the archdiocese’s ecumenical and interreligious officer. He recently asked Smith, pastor of St. Andrew Russian Greek Catholic Church in El Segundo, to arrange a meeting on immigration reform with Jewish leaders and to explore the issue from a theological standpoint with an interfaith council.

Some wish Gomez would cross more into politics and social justice as Mahony did. Liberals say Gomez has been conspicuously absent from Labor Day Masses, immigration rallies and juvenile justice gatherings

“Cardinal Mahony used the public square as a pulpit to really create a megaphone for these issues,” said Angelica Salas of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles. “Archbishop Gomez is doing his work much more quietly.”

Maria Elena Durazo of the L.A. County Federation of Labor said Gomez was attentive and engaged at two 2011 union gatherings aimed at introducing him to low-wage and immigrant workers. But he has not continued the church’s annual Labor Day Masses or yet forged the close relationship with labor that Mahony generally enjoyed, she said.

“He does not have an activist history,” Durazo said of Gomez. “He’s been listening to us and is open, but when we call on him to do something, we’ll see if he agrees or rejects us….”

To read the entire story, click here.


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  1. Best way to contact His Exellency Josè Gomez is:


    • Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

      The Lord see’s through all things. He even see’s the Archbishop’s soul! I trust that Archbishop Gomez is working hard for souls so that when he goes before our Almighty Savior, he shall hear the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant; since thou hast been faithful over little things, I have great things to commit to thy charge; come and share the joy of thy Lord.”

      Pray for Archbishop Gomez and all our Bishops. That they may keep their eyes on the prize and may focus on care of souls, and that the distractions of high office and trappings of all things mammon may not be for them an obstacle to serving their Lord and Master whom they so loved as to enter the Priesthood.

  2. “Gomez has not, for instance, shut down a program Mahony developed that has trained lay leaders, particularly women, for powerful church roles…”

    Isn’t this why we have all this nonsense such as liturgical dancing, the touchy feely hand holding, girl altar boys and the like? Along with the modernism espoused by liberal bishops and priests along with their horrible conduct, the feminization of the Church is greatly responsible for the decrease of priestly vocations.

    • Yup… clapping, hand-holding, girl-altarboys, guitars and drums (what, no pipe-organ?)… “forbidden liturgical dance”, that looks pagan/wiccan and is diabolical! This is the poisoned fruit…

  3. Archbishop Gomez will have been two years at the helm February 27, 2013 (Cdl. Mahony’s birthday). I have written him precisely on that date since concerning the poor situation of the extraordinary form of the mass in the Archdiocese.

    I have noticed several improvements so far. He answers letters, unlike his predecessor. He implemented the new English translation of the mass, which is a great improvement. My ordinary form parish is very liberal but in the beginning they reinstated the confession of sins (it is not said any longer) and started kneeling after the Sanctus for consecration again (but continuing not kneeling after receiving communion).

    In our EF parish of San Juan Buenaventura Mission the new pastor cancelled the EF mass aiming for before the start of Lent. Many letters were written to Archbishop Gomez who responded to each one. However the EF mass still continues on Sundays, while a new church willing to accept the ugly ducklings of the Church materializes. The Auxiliary Bishop responsible for Ventura County, Thomas Curry, conspired with Cdl. Mahony in the homosexual priest scandals and Gomez accepted his resignation. So there is some hope we might even be able to stay at the 200 year old San Buenaventura Mission where a Diocesan Latin Mass has been held every Sunday for the past 15 years. On the other hand we had a magnificent complete 1962 Triduum, which was flat out cancelled by the new pastor.

    Most importantly, by removing Roger Cardinal Mahony from administrative and public duties Archbishop Gomez gave Los Angeles Catholics a much needed moral boost. When Cardinal Mahony impertinently replied in his personal website he sealed the fate of the ultra-liberal ancienne régime.

    Abp. Gomez will need our support in the Cdl. Mahony affair.

    All in all, a good start.

  4. R.B. Rodda says:

    Now that Cardinal Mahony has once and for all lost the concrete support of the great majority of Latinos in the Archdiocese of LA, I suspect reform will come much faster.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      Are you sure about that? I doubt that he lost enough support…from what I can guess….just saying. : )

    • Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

      What is this ‘support’ for business. The Church in Los Angeles sounds like a Political party. The Bishop should never be a populist.

      “The good Prelate, when prevented from walking down the street in the service of the Lord, should try to walk down a new path, and never stop. If he is prevented from implementing reforms with the aid of law and religion, he should do so with his voice. If he cannot preach, let him write; if he cannot write, let him pray; if he is not able to pray, let him weep. He must always keep watch and work in the service of God, for the good of the souls under his charge, for splendor in Divine Worship, and for his Church, up to the moment of his last breath.; at least according to Blessed Juan de Palafox”
      Borrowed from Rorate Caeli Blog.

  5. Catholics can go back and forth about who to please, Traditional or Blue Book Catholics. The teachings of the faith has been written for some time and to think from both sides we define them to please us creates more confusion. We please, our Heavenly Father and his Son, throught the Holy Ghost.

    • Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

      On the letter of faith, Tradationalists are correct. Vatican two was not a Dogmatic Council.
      While its not in error, we do not have to beleive anything it said.

  6. Cardinals, Bishops, and Priests must adhere to the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition” in entirety (100%).

    They MUST NOT teach or preach their own politics in any public forum.
    (For example: gun registration and gun control is not ‘Catholic teaching’.
    If it is rare and with other stipulations, preaching against the death penalty is not ‘Catholic teaching’. Immigrants who do not obey the laws of the host country, including immigration laws violate ‘Catholic teaching’.)

    Their main job is to TEACH.
    This means they and their Priests must actively and publically and continually tell their literate flocks to read and study the BIBLE and the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHRCH, Second Edition”.
    Reading and study can be done at home so there will be no excuses.

    They must do everything possible to protect the “REAL PRESENCE”.
    This means they must stop SACRILEGE.
    They must do everything possible to stop HERESY, SCHISM, SCANDAL, CONFUSION, and TEACH the confused and those obstinate in grave (mortal) sin within their own Diocese.
    This means the mandatory enforcement of Code of Canon Law: 915, 1399, 1329, 1326, and the teaching of St. Paul 1 Cor 5:11-13 which includes public excommunication when necessary.

    CCC: “1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them: …. – by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;….”.

    Bishops clean your own House (Diocese). Take the log out of your own eye first.

    All of us should pray for them.

    • Teaching is third down on the list of what shepherds are supposed to do. Apostleship and prophesy are first and second. You can read all about it in the Magisterium, say for example, in St Paul’s Letters … this one being, as I recall, in first Corinthians.

      • No Skai, Teaching is their FIRST responsibility —

        CCC: “888 Bishops, with priests as co-workers, have as their first task “to preach the Gospel of God to all men,” in keeping with the Lord’s command.
        They are “heralds of faith, who draw new disciples to Christ; they are authentic teachers” of the apostolic faith “endowed with the authority of Christ.”

        For the words of Jesus please see – - – Mk 16:15; then LG25.

        • The CCC is not part of the magisterium, MIKE; however, the Bible is. I’ll pick St Paul over the bureaucrats any day. In fact the Pope recently blasted the bureaucrats … ie the cardinalate running the Vatican.

          • I wish people would get a Catholic dictionary.

          • Skai, you are not correct. The CCC is from the Magisterium.

            Go to “What Catholics REALLY believe SOURCE” on the internet for quotes from our Popes about the CCC.

            Here is only one quote including the source where you can check out this exact wording:
            “The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved … and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium.
            I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion.” – Pope John Paul II. (CCC pg 5)

        • MIKE, your own CCC reference does not even prove your point. You should read it more carefully, as it does not say what you claim it says.

      • For example, when Abp Gomez says of Cdl Mahony that his actions were evil, that is an act of the prophetic office. Read the Prophets and try to understand that they are not crystal ball gazers, which is the popular notion of prophesy.

        • That is a very narrow characterization of what Abp. Gomez did. “Prophetic” is not the precise word for what the Abp. did. He acted as judge, and teacher.

  7. As always, you’re darned if you do, and darned it you don’t.

    If everyone is happy with you, you are doing something wrong!

    • Mackz, this might be hard or impossible for you to understand, but bishops are not vocationed as salesmen. Their vocation is altogether different from yours.

      • Their vocation Skai is also not as a punching bag for those with a perpetual “grievance” against the state of the world, liberalism, the Democratic Party, and whatever else you don’t happen to like.

    • The Bishops’ job is NOT to make everyone happy on this earth. Quite the contrary.

      In fact Jesus said — Mt 10:16-17 “Behold, I send you out as a sheep in the midst of wolves; …” “Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to the councils, and flog you in their synagogues.”

      Bishops and their Priests main job is to teach according to the: Bible, Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition, Code of Canon Law, and GIRM (General Instruction of the Roman Missal) for the Ordinary Form of the Mass, and the 1962 Missal for the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

  8. Allyson Smith says:

    Archbishop Gomez has taken a major and positive step toward cleaning up the L.A. archdiocese by publicly rebuking Cardinal Mahony and relieving him of his duties. Now, he should continue that trend by either shutting down the annual “Religious Education” Congress, or else changing it by replacing the dissidents who regularly appear there with faithful and orthodox speakers.

    • This rebuke of Cdl Mahony so far has not accomplished anything at all. At best it serves as a shot across the bow … well, perhaps more since part of the rebuke was a statement by Abp Gomez that Cdl Mahony did evil in the eyes of God. But what does that prophetic statement mean? What will be its outcome? Will its potency devolve into some also ran drivel that there are tares in the field of wheat, and that we cannot and should not do anything about this condition?

  9. Laurette Elsberry says:

    Archbishop Gomez has taken a most postive step also in reaching out to Our Lady of Guadalupe, although it might have been a better idea to take 60 LA politicians to Mexico City. Hundreds of years ago Our Lady of Guadalupe brought millions of Mexican Indians to the true faith. Now too many of their descendants are leaving the faith of their childhood in Mexico, and buying into the false gods promised by the US and California – money, material goods, abortion, fornication, homosexuality, contraception, pornography, divorce. I pray that the Archbishop will increase his efforts to evangelize Latino immigrants back into the true Catholic Church via good, solid Catholic teaching.

  10. Those who want the Archbishop to be active in politics (like Cardinal Mahony) are asking him to violate the teachings of the Church.

    It is the Bishops’ (and their Priests’) job to teach the Laity. It is the Laity’s job to be involved in politics.

    CCC: 898 “By reason of their special vocation it belongs to the laity to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God’s will. …
    It pertains to them in a special way so to illuminate and order all temporal things with which they are closely associated that these may always be effected and grow according to Christ and maybe to the glory of the Creator and Redeemer.”

    CCC: “899 The initiative of lay Christians is necessary especially when the matter involves discovering or inventing the means for permeating social, political, and economic realities with the demands of Christian doctrine and life.

    This initiative is a normal element of the life of the Church”.

  11. These other things that some have mentioned as not yet having been done will happen “naturally” “at God’s pace”. Such words and phrases are consistent with the spirituality of Opus Dei.

    Over time, the ‘Religious Education Congress’ will be transformed into something much more than it is, something more substantial (and less superficial and trendy), something more holy, useful to our formation, and concrete. The Archbishop will “re-purpose” the energy of it, toward something more. But this transformation will be done at God’s pace.

    • The REC (Religious Education Congress) made by the “will of men” including some heretics and schimatics – may need to be disbanded.
      God did not make the REC.

      • Do you doubt that God can convert it into something wonderful and useful?

        • God can do anything.
          BUT he gave man a free will. God does not interfere in that free will.
          The REC is full of heretics and schismatics who need to be excommunicated.

        • God has yet to convert the REC. If He did choose to convert it, don’t you think He’d go about converting the bishops in the Vatican bureaucracy first? The Pope has all but gone into a fit of wailing and gnashing of teeth over the corruption in the Vatican, and some peole fantacize that God will wave a magic wand and make everything better.

          • Remember God has both a permissive and a positive will. This is basic theology. Maybe God is waiting…maybe He knows that if we are forced to wait, this may increase our desire, or the desire may broaden beyond the boundaries of the “devout” few.

            Maybe God is hoping that we expand the boundaries of our normal conversation about such matters to include others…perhaps ones not so fervent. Maybe the Holy Spirit will act in us during this waiting period, bringing more people into the fold, creating unity where they may not have been unity.

    • R.B. Rodda says:

      You are very correct. Many here will not understand your comments.

      The “shut it down now!” crowd just doesn’t realize how much good the REC already does and just how much more good it could do in time as it is reformed.

      Many such programs die in other dioceses due to lack of attendance. The REC has the potential to do much good.

      • I must disagree that the REC has been corrupt from the beginning and that much good has come from it. Yes, in the 1980s and early 1990s, the REC featured orthodox speakers such as Fr. Benedict Groeschel and others who gave us the TRUTH. Unfortunately as time went on, liturgical dancing workshops and dancing during certain liturgies began to take place, along with heterodox teaching, such as promoting women priests. One Religious Order of very holy Sisters withdrew from the REC because of all the aberrations. In the last 10 years or so it became a total waste of money and time to attend. The SCRC in late August, early September, is a great alternative, but teachers are not mandated to attend that Conference. What we need are booths featuring CMAA leaders and musicians/composers who are following the liturgical guidelines from Rome, giving workshops to truly educate teachers and musicians in the SACRED liturgy. Unfortunately the music publishers are dictating to most parishes what is to be sung or played. Terry Barber’s being welcomed by Bishop Gomez is a good sign, perhaps a sign that orthodoxy will return, and entertainment will vanish.

        • As a prolife volunteer, I attended the REC about 1981, the second year of my Catholic experience. The prolife manager cautioned me to beware of not a few of the REC speakers. I was not acutely tuned into the issues at all, but did perceive nefarious impressions from some of the REC booths.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:


      “Time” is in this case lost souls!

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

    • When rhetoric descends to such as “God’s pace” and “we just need to wait a bit longer”, what we are then hearing or reading is a “language” called, bureaucrateze. It seems that to most bishops, the Church is the bureacracy, and the Bureaucracy is the Church: Didn’t some European say that once, some friend of Chesterton?

      • Not at all. God allowed His people to wander in the desert for 40 years. Do you doubt that He can draw good out of our waiting, out of our generous patience.

        Are you one of those “instant Americans” who like everything all tidied up after a 30 minute sitcom?

        You think you’ve prayed and sacrifice enough? You can’t do any more? You can’t expand (maybe double or triple) your network of friends to include perhaps less devout or less convinced people?

        You think your work is all done…and it’s God’s time to act positively?

        Is that it?

  12. Maryanne Leonard says:

    In this article, conservatives, as usual, are being presented as a bit peevish, albeit for good reasons; e.g., we are irked that he hasn’t cleaned up the Religious Education Congress, etc. While the label “liberal” has come to be rejected by those who qualify for that categorization, why is it that those of us who like to follow the rules and like our leaders to be lawful and adhere to the teachings of Catholicism are not insisting on a more respectful, even admirable term? I think we could better be called “purists,” not that we ourselves are always perfectly pure, but that we admire purity, cleanliness, lawfulness, goodness, kindness, tradition, simplicity, beauty, and all the things that might be called just plain Godly? What’s wrong with being a conservative is that the media tries to make us look anachronistic, while in fact we are trying to raise up ourselves and the world to the highest, most admirable, pure and good levels we possibly can during our lifetimes. We are especially grieved when our Church allows stains to exist or even spread or be promoted, such as are seen in the priest abuse scandals, the REC deviance from Catholic values, nuns revolting (or should I say revolting nuns?), etc. Why is it not universally admirable that people who value their souls, their families, their society, and the Word of The Lord work to promote the elevation of those things for the glory of God and the greater good of mankind? We had expected Archbishop Gomez to be on board with our values, and compared to the previous occupant of the chair, he seems to be; but so much more is needed, including overt recognition of the priceless contributions of those who uphold the faith at every turn to the best of their ability. Our values are those that are promoted by the Church; why are we so denigrated, whether subtly or overtly, and categorized as kooks? Everybody should aspire to be on the side of righteousness, for God’s sake!!

    • I prefer hanging out with pagans over liberal Catholics because of their greater integrity.

      • Maryanne Leonard says:

        Yes, Skai, I understand what you are saying. Liberal Catholics are hard to take, because they should know better than to go against the teachings of the Church, which so many of them do openly and proudly, and sometimes loudly. Liberal atheists are even harder to understand, as their smug arrogance seems fearless of the consequences of denying their Creator even exists. To hear some of them talk, you’d think they they were their own Creator.

    • R.B. Rodda says:

      “…Our values are those that are promoted by the Church; why are we so denigrated…”

      So you say. I see rant after rant on here based on personal preference and not on what the Church actually allows or encourages.

      I “denigrate” those who push their personal agendas ahead of the Church. As two examples (two of many) I denigrate ABp. Gomez with regard to the pouring of the Precious Blood. No way around that one — it’s wrong and I suspect the great majority of those who post here would agree. (But while terribly misguided to do so, I suspect the archbishop does have the authority to allow the pouring. That does not make it right. All it does is place the responsibility for not following the Church on him, rather than those that adhere to his action or non-action.)

      On the other hand I also denigrate those who get all revved-up in a tizzy demanding that we MUST (once again, for example) kneel after the Agnus Dei and after receiving Holy Communion. That’s simply not true per the Church. Such people are trying to push their own agendas and it ruins their credibility…

  13. Canon 915 being enforced yet?

  14. The Religious Education Congress or REC has been corrupt from the beginning.

    I dare you to find even one copy of a Catholic Catechism at this Catholic education meeting.

    This year the featured keynote speaker is Mark Shriver of the famous Kennedy-Shriver family. Shriver has taken the public position that he supports a “woman’s right to choose” (to kill her unborn child).

    Although Abp Gomez was informed that this pro-abortion speaker was unacceptable at a LA Archdiocese sponsored Catholic education forum, Abp Gomez has failed to cancel Shriver’s presentation.

  15. I truly find it difficult to believe that PJP11 called AB Mahoney “Hollywood” due to his media presence. PJP11 was ever present in the media — he loved the attention, which lasted even until his demise. He was the 1st Pope to use the media to such an extreme. Recall his 1st love prior to priesthood was acting. He was a born actor; just as Pope Benedict XVI is a born author/teacher.

    • Anton L. Seidl says:

      Sam: Thank you for your very perceptive comments! You have distilled the natural inclinations of our two most recent popes down to their quintessential truth! I shall miss Benedict with great pain in my heart! JP2 despite his good intentions, was a poor steward of the church; he was first and foremost a personality. His youth outreach was unique and earned him much praise, but the end effects are still diffcult to assess. After each successful performance, no lasting benefits were achieved. I believe Benedict dreaded to have to follow the showmanship of his predecessor. His humble nature and natural reticence appear not to have bestowed upon him the same stage presence.

  16. Certainly Archbishop Gomez’s calling out the actions of Cdl. Mahoney as “evil” has been the high point of true leadership thus far—it’s really sad to contemplate that his friends call such actions “uncharacteristic.”

    The Archbishop’s utter failure on the REC and cleaning up St. John’s Seminary are definitely the low points. I don’t see inviting Terry Barber to REC (one speaker among a hundred) as an even noteworthy sign of improvement.

    • Maryanne Leonard says:

      Dave N.,

      Have you been out to St. John’s Seminary lately? It seems to me that it was cleaned up long ago. Do you know something I don’t know?

      • R.B. Rodda says:

        I know some priests that have completed their seminary work over the last 5 years from St. John’s. All excellent priests.

        Some have been conditioned to hate St. John’s and results contrary to their beliefs are not about to change anything.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      Dave N.

      I have not seen Terry Barber’s name on the REC speakers list!

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

  17. As some have stated, what of the Catholic-in-name-only politicians that pervade the greater LA area?

    What of the Catholic schools that are staffed with non-Catholics and give only lip-service to the Faith?

    What of “social justice” that doesn’t provide for unemployment insurance for employees?

    What of some of the RelEd Conference speakers?

    While some in this forum state that the archbishop has made a good start, I’m sure that it hasn’t taken two years to see or hear what’s wrong — so why are so many things the same?

  18. R.B. Rodda says:

    One thing that most here will never realize is that it would have been destructive for Abp. Gomez to hack-n-slash programs they don’t care for.

    Take the educational congress for example. Most here are red-hot to “shut it down now!” If Abp. Gomez did that it would survive outside of the archdiocese and there would be even less control than there is now.

    Far wiser to slowly change it from the inside. Like it or not it’s a hugely attended event and the potential to do great good is there if it was more orthodox (some of it is already quite orthodox.)

    The “shut it down now!” people will never understand. Their frustration will continue to build, often manifesting in some very sorrowful ways.

    • The LA REC is a major issue for many people on this site. We know that some are against some of the speakers or the general atmosphere of the REC. We know that Kenneth and his small group are committed to protesting outside the convention center. Yet, for all the complaining, the REC is the largest teaching session in the United States if not the world. It is attended by nearly 40,000 people from around the world. They are led by Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops and Priests. Parish directors of faith formation swarm the place to learn about how to better teach the faith. People go there to learn the faith. People go there to learn how to get greater parishioner involvement in parish life. This is the center for teachng our faith in this country.

      If someone doesn’t like what goes on there, perhaps we should question our wants and how we interpret the church of today vs. our wish for the good ole days. When I went to Catholic school in the 50s, we had to memorize the catechism by rote. We had no discussion. Our total learning was rote, including all the prayers in Latin that altar boys had to memorize. Kids don’t learn that way anymore. They start learning early in the first year by exciting television programs. By the time they are three or four Sesami Street is too boring and they are ready to move on. They learn in ways we never thought of. Just telling people to read the CCC begs the question. Review the breakout sessions at this week’s REC and you will see that most if not all sessions are based on the teaching of the CCC, but in a way that is different from the way us old persons learned it. Maybe we are the ones that are out of step.

      • Thanks for your very interesting comments. I suspect most here who detest the REC have never attended a session.

        One thing is certain — reforming the REC will take less effort than creating a new one from scratch.

        Memorizing the Baltimore Cathecism is not an optimal way to learn the faith…

      • Kenneth M. Fisher says:


        We see only two orthodox speakers on the list and we are constantly monitoring that list. Do you claim to see something we don’t see??

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

        • Kenneth, I reviewed a list of speakers and the overview of their presentations. It looked to me like an interesting group of highly educated and exeperienced people. I find it difficult to think that only two of them meet your standards. Can you tell us why the others don’t meet your standards. I think that you would have a greater impact on the readers if you would deal with data rather than just throwing grenades. I still don’t know what you are protesting about.

        • R.B. Rodda says:


          While I don’t know you, I will be candid and say that I largely dismiss your comments.

          In brief you seem to be driven by what you personally prefer in a church — not what is actually allowed or even encouraged in the Catholic Church.

          You have a great deal more in common with those that you attack than you will ever know…

      • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

        Bob One,

        Apparently you think it is good for Religious Education teachers and students to be taught by advocates for Dogmatically declared Mortal Sin. Don’t take my word for it, look at the list of speakers.

        By the way, it was a beloved Monsignor in the Chancery who first asked me to investigate the REC, Msgr. Charles Fortier.

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

      • BO, when I hit Univ of Calif in the mid sixties I ran into Catholic kids for the first time. One Half of these parochial schooled kids had been taught rote, and the other half had been taught to reason things out. So, when you imply that all Catholic school kids from the fifties had no clue how to use reason or even that it existed is nonsense.

      • Maryanne Leonard says:

        Because its offerings are so extensive and its attendance so great, it is all the more incumbent upon the presenters to adhere to the teachings of the Catholic Church, not to invent new “takes” that make the teachings of the Catholic Church seem out of date.

        Those of us who uphold traditional Catholic values are not out of step with the times; our values are as needed in today’s world as they were when Jesus Christ came to teach us how to live.

        The REC is entirely too frisky with the teachings of the Catholic Church, although there is indeed lots of good mixed in with the bad, let’s be honest.

        The same can be said about Cardinal Mahony’s leadership, who after all, did some good things. Don’t forget those wispfully dressed, barefoot dancing girls in the aisles of our churches, who after all are getting aerobic exercise while giving the rest of us heart attacks.

        Let’s clean up anything associated with Catholicism so that the hearts and minds of our faithful are guided toward purity (an old-fashioned concept, I admit) and goodness (another dated idea they tell me) and the worship of God.

        Saving the souls of all of God’s children is an old-fashioned concept whose time has definitely come, whether yet trendy or not.

        REC has an incomparable venue for helping educate people who are sincerely seeking the salvation of their eternal souls; to misguide these people in even a single way is to endanger souls and thus needs to be discerned, denounced, and swiftly eliminated.

        Among a great many other things, this is the work of Archbishop Gomez, and I call for its accomplishment sooner rather than later.

        • But the teachings of the church are out of step with the times. That is a good thing! The nation and the world has drifted so far away from the truth of the Christian faith that we are counter-cultural at this point. The challenge is to find ways to bring the rest of the world around to the teachings of Christ. I find that most people on this site don’t argue so much about the teachings as about how to teach them. To that point, I think it is imperative all of us to search for and embrace new ways of presenting the message. People learn in very different ways in this century than they did in the last. We need to remember that the kids in their freshman year of college were born in 1995-6. They have always had a cell phone, and now a smart phone, lap top and now the iPad. They don’t remember the Vietnam war and they may not know who Pope JPII is. If we insist on the church being what it was, we will lose even more people. What keeps our churches full to day is the great immigration from the south. After a few years they leave for the evangelical and fundamentalist churches, just as is happening in Mexico and other South American countries. Why? What is it that we don’t offer them that those other denominations do. Look at the you-tubes of the liturgies of the LA REC and you will find people of all ages falling in love with Christ all over again. Are we, you and I, fallling in love with Christ all over again or just wanting to take a legalistic approach to our religion? I would rather that people have faith in Christ as our savior than worry about if they are breaking the rules.

    • Rodda, hashing and slashing programs that one does not care for would be wrong.

      HOWEVER – - –
      Hashing and slashing programs that:
      1) Do not adhere to the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” in entirety;
      2) Do not adhere to the Code of Canon Law;
      3) Do not adhere to GIRM (General Instruction of the Roman Missal) for the Liturgy of the Ordinary Form of the Mass;
      is critical for accurate teaching, and to stop heresy, schism, and scandal.

      The “CCC 2nd Ed” is only 20 years old, and has nothing to do with only old people. There is no accurate way to teach the truth differently. Holy Scripture does not change based upon age either.

      • R.B. Rodda says:

        Sam: Keep in mind that you’re not the arbiter of what

        “1) Do not adhere to the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” in entirety;
        2) Do not adhere to the Code of Canon Law;
        3) Do not adhere to GIRM (General Instruction of the Roman Missal) for the Liturgy of the Ordinary Form of the Mass;
        is critical for accurate teaching, and to stop heresy, schism, and scandal.”

        The Catholic Church is.

    • Too bad the devil does not exist outside the archdiocese, right Rodda?

  19. I don’t like the terms liberal and conservative… these are political terms and the Church is not a “political party”… it would be more accurate to ask… who is traditional and who is not?…a stretch might be, who is traditional and who is a modernist?… I am a traditional Roman Catholic… I may be conservative politically, but that is not an outgrowth of my religious beliefs…

    • “liberal and conservative” — no.

      “traditional and non-traditional” — no.

      “orthodox and heterodox” — YES.

    • I agree.

      There is no such terminology in the Catholic Faith as liberal or conservative, or modernist or traditional. Only Faithful Catholics who adhere in entirety to the CCC, or Heretical and Schismatic Catholics.

      We should use the language for truth.

      Faithful Catholics
      vs. Heretical Catholics or Schismatic Catholics.

      CCC: “2089 INCREDULITY is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it.
      HERESY is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same;
      APOSTACY is the total repudiation of the Christian faith;
      SCHSIM is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

  20. I know something we can all agree on here: We must pray for Archbishop Gomez! :)

  21. Orthodox is a confusing term for some… traditional is vastly better… heterodox and orthodox are theological terms, that some people don’t grasp… traditional is clear, concise and everyone grasps it… even my pastor uses the term traditional… never does he say orthodox or heterodox… even those who aren’t traditional are theoretically orthodox…

    • R.B. Rodda says:

      Absolutely not.

      To suggest one Catholic is “traditional” and one is not is both confusing and inaccurate.

      Many (including myself) Catholics are very “traditional” in how we live and worship within our faith yet we (for example) prefer the Ordinary Form of the Mass. For some preferring the EF Mass is the litmus test for being a “traditional Catholic” and that’s just a bunch of hooey.

  22. Yeah right…calling yourself “orthodox” as opposed to “heterodox”, makes no sense… unless you’re discussing “theology”…most people, including my pastor use the term…and it reflects the modality in which we worship…attending a “clown mass” or “hippie mass”…would not fall under the banner of “traditional”…you are wrong…attending a mass with altar girls, in a parish that doesn’t have or even use an altar rail is also not very “traditional”…if it gives you peace to believe that, so be it…

  23. A person can be theoretically orthodox, but may not be very traditional… some of these folks even “smack” of modernism… if the shoe fits…

  24. Calling yourself “orthodox” also gives a rather unusual connotation, if you are in fact a Roman Catholic, in union with Rome… and not an “eastern orthodox” church member, which most might confuse you.

    For, though you may be an “Eastern Rite Catholic”… still, that term is not reflective of a Roman Catholic’s modality of worship.

    • R.B. Rodda says:

      There are Catholic Christians who are in no way RCC’s who are in full communion with the Pope of Rome. I hope you realize that.

    • Gator they are many other rites in the Catholic Church besides the Latin Rite. There are more Latin Rite adherents, but calling oneself Eastern Rite is quite correct if one is a Russian or Greek Catholic who is under the Pope of Rome. They is also the Syro-Malabar Rite of the Catholic church which is from India and uses the East Indian dialects in their Masses. That Catholic church and rite was started by the Apostle Thomas. Look up “the rites of the Catholic Church”, and you will be surprised. I have taken Holy Communion in some of them, and it is perfectly legal under Canon Law for a Latin Rite Catholic to do so. Some of those churches do have English Masses besides the ones in their own languages.

      • Gator, there are three headings for the rites of the Catholic Church — Latin, Eastern and Alexandrian. Just under the Latin Rite heading are eight sub rites — the Ordinary, Extraordinary, Anglican Use, Mozarabic, Ambrosian, Bragan, Dominican and Carthusian. The Eastern and Alexandrian Rite Catholic churches also have their sub titled rites. We can take Communion in any of those who are under the Pope of Rome.

  25. i have even witnessed revolting… diabolical liturgical dance, which is FORBIDDEN for use at all masses in North America! Yet some prelates are so disobedient to Rome, they will flagrantly disobey the Holy father, and the Magisterium…some even “blow” off the official teachings found in our catechism…

    • The only liturgical dance I have witnessed was before the actual start of the Mass. In fact, it was before the processional and after the recessional. That is ok. It is dance during the Mass that is not approved, for what reason I can’t phantom since the Bible says we should praise God with music and song and dance. Even, horrors, with the clanging of cymbals.

      • Bob One I believe it is in the Old Testament that God talked about dance. First of all the dance in the Old testament that King David did wasn’t like you see today done by “liturgical dancers.” I would say it would be along the lines of the beautiful and reverent movement of the Priest and altar boys at a “Latin Mass.”

        • Susanne, you are right that David’s dance wasn’t like the liturgical dance of today (which is not permitted during the liturgy.) “Then David, girt with a linen apron, came dancing before the Lord with abandon, as he and all the Isrealites were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and the sound of the horn. As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Saul’s daughter Michal looked down through the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord and she despised him in her heart… Michal came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has honored himself today, exposing himself to the view of the slave girls of his followers, as a commoner might do!” But David replied to Michal: “I was dancing before the Lord. As the Lord lives, who preferred me to your father and his whole family when he appointed me commander of the Lord’s people, Isreal, not only will I make merry before the Lord, but I will demean myself even more. I will be lowly in your esteen, but in the esteem of the slave girls you spoke of I will be honored.” And so Saul’s daughter Michal was childless to the day of her death.” 2 Samuel 6:14-16, 20-23

        • Abeca Christian says:

          In the old testament they didn’t have the Eucharist….

  26. It sounds as if Archbishop Gomez is making some good changes.

  27. I noticed many references to “Eastern Rites” in the above blogs. Subject to correction, I believe that the Catholic Church now names them as Eastern CHURCHES, some of them even being “sui juris”– that is, being governed by their own internal canon law. Some, in fact, elect their own Patriarchs, Major Archbishops and bishops who then request acknowledgement from the Bishop of Rome that they are in full communion with him.

    The change from “Rite” to “Church” in dealing with our Catholic brethren from Eastern traditions is more than a change in vocabulary. It acknowledges that the Catholic Church is more than the Latin Church, but rather includes “particular Churches” of various traditions and autonomy but always in communion with the Bishop of Rome, all of which together constitute the one Catholic Church.

    The mindset calling them individual “Churches” is essential to our Church’s hope of reuniting with their Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox counterparts. Ut unum sint!

    • Thank you, Fr. Bob B., for the information.

    • Maryanne Leonard says:

      Yes, thank you, Father Bob B. I hope more priests will choose to post comments on this wonderful website as there is so much we are all hungry to learn, and sometimes different priests tell us conflicting things. If we hear various priestly comments, it is helpful even to us, the laity, to contemplate various aspects of what may be a fuller truth we could only come to comprehend by hearing various priestly voices.

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