Los Angeles, Calif., Nov 21, 2019 / 11:39 am
Following his election as president of the US bishops' conference, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles has noted that what is of importance is not his own vision for the Church, but that of Christ.
“In interviews this week, I am getting asked a lot about my 'vision' for the Church. It is a good, sincere question. But I’m not sure it is the right question,” he wrote in a Nov. 19 column at Angelus News.
“The Church does not belong to any archbishop, even the president of the bishops’ conference. The Church does not belong to any of us. She belongs to Jesus, the Church is his Body and Bride.”
Archbishop Gomez said that the Church's mission and identity given her by Christ is “to tell the world about his life and what he has done for us, and to help them know that Jesus is the way that leads to the truth about their lives, to the love and happiness that they long for.”
The baptized “are called to be people who evangelize, disciples who are missionaries … this is the true nature of the Church. And our mission is urgent.”
The archbishop noted that our culture is confused “about the meaning of human life and freedom,” and that “there are many competing narratives now about how to find happiness and what is essential in life.”
The Church, he said, has a duty “to reach out to those who are no longer practicing any religion and also to those who come to church regularly but may not be sure what it means to be Catholic, or what the Church teaches and why.”
Archbishop Gomez called for the Church “to find new ways to propose Jesus Christ as the answer to the questions that every person holds in their hearts and minds. We need to call every man and woman to experience the full beauty of the gospel, the joy and newness of life that we have in Jesus Christ. We need to call them to find their home in the Church, in the saving mysteries of the sacraments, especially the Eucharist.”