February 15, 2019

Archbishop Gomez delivers annual Hispanic Innovators of the Faith Lecture

The world faces a crisis, according to Most Rev. José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles. It is the “loss of the meaning of the human person.” On campus Feb. 6 to deliver the School of Theology and Religious Studies’ annual Hispanic Innovators of the Faith Lecture, Archbishop Gomez titled his talk “Born for Greater Things: From the ‘Crisis of Man’ Toward a New Christian Humanism.”

The Archbishop said he comes at the topic “not as an historian or scholar, but as a pastor of souls. And as a pastor, I am worried about the directions our society is taking. I think our way of life is making it harder for people to find God and to know the meaning of their lives.”

This crisis, he said, is rooted in “our society’s broader loss of the awareness of God.”

This can be seen “in the growing prevalence of abortion and contraception and euthanasia in our society and throughout the West, in the radical new experiments we are making with the genome and the human embryo. And of course, we see it in the new slavery of human trafficking.”

Among other instances in which the crisis is reflected, Archbishop Gomez referenced “the clashes of identity politics and the persistence of racist thinking in our society.”

He raised concerns about our increasingly secularized society.

“We think we do not need God to help us run the economy or the government,” he said. “We can plan and engineer everything for ourselves. We are totally self-sufficient. We think we can rely on politics or science and technology to solve every problem and answer every question.”

He said we have become very good at engineering our lives through science and technology.

“Reason is one of God’s greatest gifts to us,” said Archbishop Gomez. “But reason was never meant to be separated from faith. Reason was never meant to be opposed to our search for the truth about God and the truth about who we are. But that is what has happened — our society no longer accepts that reason can help us to find God.”

Archbishop Gomez, a member of Catholic University’s Board of Trustees, is a frequent and popular speaker on campus. Last May, he delivered the Commencement address on the timely topic of Immigration.

In this latest talk, he told the large lunchtime crowd in Caldwell Auditorium, “We have accepted a way of life that defines what is real and true as only what we can verify with our senses or confirm through scientific experiments. That rules out any possibility that we can know God or that God can make any authoritative claims in our life.”

In offering hope and a way forward, Archbishop Gomez said, Christians should look to the promise of God. “God never leaves us without hope, even in what seem to be the darkest times!”