LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Cardinal Roger Mahony turned over the reins of the Los Angeles Archdiocese to Archbishop Jose Gomez Sunday at the age of 75.
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Both Gomez and Mahony presided over the transitional ceremonies at The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Downtown during Masses celebrated in both English and Spanish.
Gomez, 59, became the first archbishop of Mexican descent to head a North American archdiocese, though many of his flock have roots in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries.
In the ceremony following Mahony’s final homily as archbishop, the cardinal’s coat of arms was removed from above the archbishop’s chair and Gomez’s was installed in its place.
Mahony then escorted the new leader to the throne and gave him his pastoral staff, the symbol of his role as chief shepherd of some than 5 million Catholics — of about which 70 percent are Hispanic — in the archdiocese’s coverage area of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara. It ranks at the Nation’s most populous.
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