Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez was elected Tuesday as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, becoming the first Latino and Mexican immigrant to hold the position.
The bishops elected Gomez at an annual gathering in Baltimore. He had served as vice president of the conference for three years under Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, of the Galveston-Houston Diocese. The Los Angeles diocese is the nation's largest, and serves 4 million Catholics.
Gomez, who was chosen over 10 other nominees, has been one of the conference's top advocates for immigrants' rights. He has voiced opposition to the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy.
Born in Monterrey, Mexico, Gomez was ordained in 1978 and served as archbishop in San Antonio before moving to Los Angeles in 2010. He's earned degrees in accounting, philosophy and theology.
Gomez played a main role in developing the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders, and Time Magazine named him one of 25 most influential Hispanics in the United States in 2005. He has also been a consultant to the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.