Mexican immigrant José Gómez elected head of US Catholic bishops group

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has elected as its new president Archbishop José Gómez of Los Angeles, a naturalized US citizen who emigrated from Mexico and is outspoken on immigration issues.

Gómez, 67, was elected on November 12 by a landslide on the first ballot during the bishops’ fall conference in Baltimore. The first Latino selected to hold the position, he received 176 votes, with some American bishops voting remotely from Rome. His closest competitor in the field of ten candidates received 18 votes.

When the results were announced, the room erupted in a standing ovation.