The recent appointment of Bp. Nelson J. Pérez of Cleveland to succeed Philadelphia Abp. Charles Chaput represents a major step forward in the U.S. hierarchy's efforts to forge a more Hispanic Church in the United States. The appointment also reflects Pope Francis' strong support of the effort.
Abp. Pérez will undoubtedly be a strong ally of Los Angeles Abp. José Gómez, the newly-elected USCCB president and a native of Mexico. Archbishop Pérez's appointment to one of America's most prominent and prestigious sees at the age of 58 guarantees that he will be a force in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for years to come.
By the way, just in case you might have thought that America's bishops elected Gómez as USCCB president to get to the bottom of the McCarrick sodomite syndicate, the Pérez appointment should make one thing clear: McCarrick has officially been tossed down the memory hole.
And that's not all. Under Abp. Gómez's leadership, the USCCB will also ignore the fraud, coverups, financial scandals, and homosexual perfidy in its own ranks. Instead, it will accelerate efforts to create a "more Hispanic Church."
As archbishop of Los Angeles, Gómez has pursued that goal relentlessly for years. He spelled out his vision in detail at the Napa Institute in 2011, describing his plans for the "Next America," a United States which will be superior to the America we have now because Hispanics, specifically illegal aliens, will build in America a better society, devoted to faith and family.
What's wrong with America now? "We have a legal structure that allows, and even pays for, the killing of babies in the womb," Abp. Gómez said. "Our courts and legislatures are redefining the natural institutions of marriage and the family. We have an elite culture — in government, the media and academia — that is openly hostile to religious faith."
Right on target, Your Excellency. But why, instead of pursuing that valid insight about America's elites, did you attack the majority of Americans for our "nativism" and "bigotry"? Instead of going after the corrupt elites you so clearly identify, why did you criticize America's flourishing culture of "individualism, work ethic and rule of law that we inherited from our Anglo-Protestant forebears"? Aren't we legal Americans devoted to faith and family too?
In 2011, Abp. Gómez ignored the millions of hard-working, law-abiding Americans citizens who live and breathe the values of faith and family. But wait: five years later, those same Americans supported Donald Trump when he ran against — and defeated! — the vile elites that Abp. Gómez so roundly condemned.
Aren't we his allies? So why does he give us the back of his hand?
Here's why. Because by electing Abp. Gómez as its president, the USCCB turned its cards face-up on the table. In 2016 they didn't jump up and cheer for Donald Trump, the presidential candidate who ran against the pro-abortion, secular elites that Abp. Gómez had roundly condemned. No, they shrank in horror, and they've opposed the most pro-life president in living memory on every front ever since (except abortion, of course, on which they've been impotent on canon 915 for decades).
Bad habits are hard to break. The Gómez USCCB has been wed to the Democrat Party since Cdl. James Gibbons blessed the marriage with the disastrous President Woodrow Wilson over 100 years ago. Yes, they occasionally mouth support of Trump's historic pro-life, pro-family policies, but their hearts — and their money and their political efforts day in and day out — are with the Democrats.
The Pérez appointment was hailed by the usual suspects as soon as the news was announced. He's "very much in the style of Jorge Bergoglio," wrote one Catholic dissident. The New York Times beamed. "The move is a sign that the pope, who has installed key allies in Chicago and Newark, is still intent on changing the ideological direction of the American Church by setting a new tone in one of its most traditionalist dioceses," read its news story.
What? Ideological? Is this a veiled revolution, with its malevolent manipulators using Abp. Gómez and Abp. Pérez as pawns? Undoubtedly, Abp. Gómez has no clue that such horror should come to pass. Why, he's just devoted to his fellow Hispanics! That's all.
In his first column after his election last November, Abp. Gómez wrote, "Certainly, the bishops recognize the presence and importance of Latinos in the Church and in our nation." Clearly he means well. But do the Gómez bishops recognize the radical consequences of the policies they are advocating?
The Gómez USCCB's approach to immigration is a jumble of dialectical contradictions wrapped in a warm and fuzzy myth peppered with snatches of Bible verses. Sensible Catholics should remember that the dialectic is central to the Marxism that permeates not only Liberation Theology, but the worldwide agenda of the international Left. That malevolent enterprise, which has already enthralled key figures in the Vatican, has now set its sights on destroying the American Catholic Church. Undoubtedly the Left sees the Hispanicization of the American Church to be a step in the right direction.
When will the Gómez USCCB come to the defense of the faithful?