Baltimore, Md., Nov 15, 2016 / 09:36 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on Tuesday elected Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston as its president, and Archbishop Jose Gómez of Los Angeles vice-president.
Cardinal DiNardo has served as conference vice-president since 2013. He was elected president at the bishops' fall assembly Nov. 15 in Baltimore, and will serve a three-year term. The bishops’ conference president plays a significant role in coordinating and leading charitable and social work and education, while providing a public face for the Catholic Church in the U.S. Cardinal DiNardo has served as Archbishop of Galveston-Houston since 2006, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 2007.
Archbishop Gómez succeeded as Archbishop of Los Angeles, in 2011.
In the vote for president, Cardinal DiNardo received 113 votes. There were 10 candidates, and the nominee with the second-largest number of votes was Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans, who garnered 30 votes. Cardinal DiNardo and Archbishop Gómez had both also been selected (at the 2014 general assembly) by their fellow US bishops to be among the delegates to the 2015 Synod on the Family.
Cardinal DiNardo was born in Steubenville in 1949, and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 1977. He was appointed coadjutor bishop of Sioux City in 1997, succeeding as its ordinary the following year. He was then named coadjutor archbishop of Galveston-Houston in 2004.
The cardinal was chosen vice president of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference in 2013. He had previously served as the head of the bishops’ pro-life committee, where he was outspoken against the contraception mandate of the Obama administration. In addition, has been a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, and the Pontifical Council for the Economy.
Archbishop Gómez heads the largest U.S. diocese, with more than 4 million Catholics. He is the highest-ranking Hispanic bishop in the United States. Born in Monterrey, Mexico in 1951, he was ordained a priest of Opus Dei in 1978. In 2001, he was appointed auxiliary bishop of Denver, and made Archbishop of San Antonio in 2004. In 2010 he was appointed coadjutor archbishop of Los Angeles, succeeding as its ordinary the next year.
Archbishop Gomez has worked extensively in Hispanic ministry and played a key role in creating the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders. He has also been outspoken on pro-life issues, immigration, and the death penalty. In 2008, Archbishop Gomez was appointed as a consultant to the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. He has served in various roles for the US bishops' conference, including in cultural diversity, doctrine, and Hispanics and liturgy.