Letters to the Editor: ‘Woke’ Catholics are too busy doing God’s work to worry about José Gomez

Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez stands for a portrait at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in 2016.
(Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

To the editor: The Immaculate Heart Community of California, an ecumenical lay community founded in Los Angeles in the era of Archbishop Cardinal James Francis McIntyre in 1970, woke up a long time ago. We were the nuns referred to in Gustavo Arrellano’s column on the current archbishop’s excoriation of “woke” Catholic activists.

We are among the “social poets” lauded by Pope Francis. We spoke truth to power when our simple requirements for just working conditions and the rights of women were ignored by that unenlightened prelate and the Catholic Church.

Dismissed from all Los Angeles schools for our stance, we invited like-minded people to join us to work for the marginalized of the world. We repeat that invitation today.


Concerned now about confronting systemic racism, immigrant rights and global climate death, we are too absorbed to worry about another ignorant archbishop. We are too busy to be disappointed.

Nan Cano, Westlake Village

The writer is vice president of the Immaculate Heart Community.


To the editor: While reading Arellano’s article about Archbishop José H. Gomez and the wonderful work done at an L.A. soup kitchen run by activist Catholics, I was able to relate to his points. After all, I used to be a cafeteria Catholic myself (pun intended) who championed Catholic social justice over theology.

The Catholic Church says that both go together. Think of the desert-wandering Israelites who died spiritually even though they were bodily fed by God during their journey to the promised land.

Gomez is wrongfully accused of not doing enough in helping the needy and marginalized. The archbishop is certainly following in Pope Francis’ footsteps by listening to God and all people from different walks of life. Check out Gomez’s book, “Immigration and the Next America.”


I encourage Arellano and the Hippie Kitchen staff to try an old recipe: Read the Bible humbly and have a “conservative” Catholic explain it to them.

Raul Ramirez, Azusa


To the editor: Doesn’t Gomez know that “woke culture” means being well-informed and aware in a political or cultural sense, especially regarding issues having to do with the marginalized, and then putting this knowledge to work helping people?

Isn’t that what Christ asked of us? Isn’t this what I was taught to do during my 13 years of Catholic education?

I am a practicing 77-year-old Catholic, but I am hanging on by a thread. Gomez, as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, outraged me by putting out statements on whether President Biden and other pro-choice Catholic politicians should receive Communion.

As Arellano stated, how many pedophile priests were refused Communion? How many bishops, who covered up these atrocities, were refused Communion?

And now Gomez goes after “woke” culture? Social justice is exactly what Jesus preached.

Lindsay Soderlund, Glendale


To the editor: I admit that I tend to have a very anti-organized religion worldview. However, Arellano’s column definitely gives Catholics a good name, especially those working at the Hippie Kitchen.

May their tribe increase in numbers.

Ken Palley, Santa Barbara