By Kathleen Gilbert

FRESNO, California, April 26, 2010 ( – A suspended gay activist Fresno priest has expressed dismay over the pope's appointment of Archbishop José Gomez to head the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in place of Cardinal Roger Mahony.

California Catholic Daily last week highlighted Rev. Geoffrey Farrow's April 17 blog post referring to Gomez's appointment: “What does this mean for the future of the Catholic Church in Los Angeles and California? It means a sharp thrust to the right.”

Rev. Farrow was suspended from the priesthood in 2008 when he declared himself an open homosexual and urged his congregation to vote against Proposition 8, the state constitutional amendment enshrining marriage as between one man and one woman.

Farrow pointed to the implications of Gomez's influence upon episcopal appointments in other dioceses in California, and decried the Latino archbishop's association with the orthodox Opus Dei movement.

“[Mahoney's] replacement by someone from Opus Dei clearly communicates that Mahony has lost all practical influence in Rome and was not able to name his successor,” wrote Farrow.

Under Cardinal Mahony the LA archdiocese has earned a deeply liberal reputation with respect to many issues, including abortion and homosexuality, making it likely that Gomez's ascension will mark a historic shift towards orthodoxy for the Los Angeles faithful.

As but one example, the LA Archdiocese's annual Religious Education Congress, widely publicized as the largest of its kind in the U.S., regularly draws criticism from the Catholic community for featuring homosexualist speakers, including dissenting priests.

Described as exerting a “gay-friendly” influence on the diocese, Mahony has also come under fire for welcoming Rainbow Sash activists, who demand acceptance of homosexuality in the Catholic Church, to communion.

The archdiocese is currently under criminal investigation for harboring sexually abusive priests, although it is unclear whether the probe continues to include Cardinal Mahony.

In another episode that is burned in the memory of pro-life Catholics, in 2005 when Cardinal Mahony was holding an inauguration for a pro-abortion mayor in the Cathedral, pro-lifers who were peacefully protesting outside the Cathedral were removed and threatened with arrest by Cathedral security. In stark contrast, Archbishop Gomez opposed a 2008 appearance of the pro-abortion former Senator Hillary Clinton at a Catholic university in his diocese, and backed Bishop John D'Arcy of Fort Wayne-South Bend when the latter boycotted the University of Notre Dame's honoring of President Obama in May 2009.

See related coverage:

A See Change Coming to Los Angeles as Pope Appoints Replacement for Mahony

Cardinal Mahony Under Investigation for Clergy Sex Scandal Cover-Up

Los Angeles Archdiocese Pays Out $660 Million For Clergy Sex Abuse Settlement

Huge Los Angeles Religious Ed. Congress Again Features Gay-Promoting Priests, Dissenters

Los Angeles Diocese Covered Up Sex Abuse by Priests for Decades Files Reveal

Gay-Friendly U.S. Bishops Outed by Homosexual Activist 'Catholic' Group