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Washington D.C., Nov 12, 2019 / 07:25 am (CNA).- When he became a priest four decades ago, Archbishop Jose Gomez did not expect that he would one day lead the largest archdiocese in the U.S., or the country’s bishops’ conference.
“I just wanted to be a priest,” Gomez told CNA with a laugh, speaking about his election.
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“Somehow God wanted me to do what I am doing, and I’m just counting on the grace of God to be able to be faithful to what God is asking me to do.”
“And also on intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe,” he added, explaining that he has entrusted all of his ministry as a bishop to the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
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Gomez, 67, was elected Nov. 12 as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The archbishop, born in Monterey, Mexico, and ordained a priest in Spain, is the first Latino to lead the bishops’ conference. He is also the first immigrant to head the conference.
His election is historic, but it was no surprise. Gomez became vice president of the conference, a central organizing body of almost 200 Catholic bishops with more than 300 employees, in 2016. The vice president is traditionally elected to the top job, so Gomez knew his election was likely.
CNA - Surprise - Vice - President - Years
But, he told CNA, the real surprise was becoming vice president three years ago.
“I was not expecting to be the president. Some people put my name forward for election as vice president [in 2016].”
Surprise - Vice - President - Vice - President
“To my surprise I was elected vice president, then once you are the vice president, it is more likely that they elect you president. The whole process was a surprise to me, but I see that God is asking me to do it, and I just pray that with the grace of God I can do...
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