Archbishop Gomez appointed to Vatican Commission working with Latin America
Archbishop José H. Gomez of the Archdiocese of San Antonio has been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as a consultant to the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, whose purpose is to assist the human and spiritual needs of the Latin American church. The announcement was made July 25.
“I am indeed humbled and truly grateful for the confidence the Holy Father has shown in me through this nomination,” said Archbishop Gomez. “I look forward to working with my brother bishops in Latin America so that together, we can forge a bond that will be a sign of unity as we carry out the mission of the church throughout the American continent.”
The commission has as consultants bishops from selected churches associated with Latin America or from the Vatican.
According to information from the Holy See’s Web site, the function of the commission is to be available to the church in Latin America, by counsel and by action, regarding questions that affect the life and progress of those churches, and to help the churches in finding solutions. It also fosters relations between the national and international church institutes that work in Latin American and the Vatican.
Archbishop Gomez stated, “I accept this honor to serve the Holy See, to work with the bishops of the United States and Latin American in nurturing better communication in the spirit of solidarity, with the knowledge that this appointment points to the importance of San Antonio -- its history, its culture, its reality and its people.”
The commission was created by Pope Pius XII on April 21, 1958, and is commemorating its 50th anniversary this year. It is currently presided over by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, the entity by which the group is overseen, and the commission’s vice president is Archbishop José Octavio Ruíz Arenas, who formerly served as prelate of the Archdiocese of Villavicencio, Colombia.
“I look forward to working with my brother bishops at this critical time in history for all of our people. The church of the American continent faces many challenges today and even greater challenges in the future,” Archbishop Gomez said. “As we proclaim the Gospel of Christ, in a spirit of faith and love, I am hopeful that our cultures will come together to reflect respect for life and the dignity of every human person, especially the most in need.”
In an address to an assembly of the commission held in Rome in January of 2007, Pope Benedict XVI addressed some of those challenges, listing globalization, secularism, increasing poverty, violence, and the drug trade. The pontiff said, “For the future of the church in Latin America it is important that Christians have a deeper knowledge and adopt an appropriate lifestyle as Jesus’ disciples, simply and joyful with a firm faith rooted in the depths of their heart and nourished by prayer and the sacraments.”
(Story provided by Today's Catholic)