The LA Times has a good bio of the new Archbishop, Jose Gomez, who will succeed Cardinal Roger Mahony as the leader of the L.A. Archdioscese. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-gomez7-2010apr07
The Church has been a strong leader in the fight for immigrant rights, particularly to legalize many in the shadows. However, it has also been a reactionary force, opposing the right to have an abortion, gay marriage, gay people in general, and other social issues. They have allied with labor, fairly strongly, in the fight to support poor people.
As the article states: "He earned degrees in accounting and philosophy from the University of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain, and was ordained a priest there in 1978, under the Prelature of Opus Dei."
Gomez may not side with liberals on labor issues. Read the following about Opus Dei, a "secret society" within the Church: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opus_Dei http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opus_Dei_and_politics
Opus Dei is was founded in Spain in the 1920s, and went underground during the Civil War.
After the Republican forces lost to Franco and the Fascists, Opus Dei re-emerged and flourished under the fascist dictatorship. Franco was eventually defeated in 1978, the year when Gomez was ordained a priest.
One of the strengths of Opus Dei is that it's a lay organization that appeals to people seeking a more total, intense spiritual experience. In LA, this is important, because the Church is in competition with protestant sects that are more evangelical and fundamentalist.
Food for thought.