.- In its latest issue, Time Magazine has honored San Antonio’s Archbishop Jose Gomez as one of the 25 most influential Hispanics in the United States. Sharing the issue with the likes of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, actress Jennifer Lopez, and Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Archbishop Gomez has developed a reputation for being holy and humble but also tremendously influential in circles ranging from the local Hispanic population in Texas, to the U.S. federal government and even the Vatican.
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, where Gomez served as auxiliary bishop before being appointed Archbishop of San Antonio in December, is quoted in the issue as saying, "He gets listened to in the state of Texas and in the U.S. Bishops' Conference. He gets listened to in Rome. And I think he'll be listened to by the Federal Government when it comes to immigration law."
The article noted that the 53-year old Monterrey, Mexico native is seen as “a natural conciliator admired for uniting rich and poor and Anglo and Hispanic Catholics behind Denver's Centro Juan Diego, a hybrid Latino religious-instruction and social-services center hailed as a national model.”
The Archdiocese of San Antonio is considered by many experts to be the center of the Hispanic Catholic Church in the U.S. Currently, Hispanics make up some 39% of the nation’s Catholic population, and many think that number could jump to a majority by the year 2020.
Currently, Archbishop Gomez is the U.S.’s only Latino archbishop, and some watchers speculate that a new position of Cardinal could be in the future for the soft-spoken prelate.