Latino Opus Dei bishop goes to Hollywood
A member of the conservative Roman Catholic group Opus Dei has been appointed as the new Archbishop of Los Angeles.
Jose Gomez has been sent to the archdiocese of five million to try to lure the increasingly lapsing faithful of southern California back to the Church. The appointment was described this week as the Pope’s revenge on Hollywood for filming The Da Vinci Code. The 2006 film — starring Tom Hanks and based on the Dan Brown novel — depicted Opus Dei as a secret society of murderous monks trying to cover up the truth of Jesus’s secret affair with Mary Magdalene.
The appointment will give Opus Dei enormous influence in the American Church and Vatican, and is the most senior appointment for a member of the group.
It will also lead to Archbishop Gomez, the Mexican-born former Archbishop of San Antonio, Texas, becoming the first Latin American cardinal in the United States, a position that will give him influence in Rome and the right to vote at a papal conclave.
The choice is likely to dismay the Catholics of Hollywood, which falls within the archdiocese. The reigning archbishop, Cardinal Roger Mahony, avoided confrontation, but Archbishop Gomez is less likely to do so.