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Anti-Gay San Francisco Archbishop-Elect in DUI Arrest

by Elliot Spagat
Monday Aug 27, 2012

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The Roman Catholic archbishop-elect of San Francisco was arrested for investigation of driving under the influence, San Diego police said Monday.

The Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, a vigorous supporter of California's same-sex marriage ban, was taken into custody after being stopped early Saturday at a police checkpoint near the San Diego State University campus, said Detective Gary Hassen, a police spokesman. He declined to comment on whether Cordileone took a sobriety test or reveal his blood-alcohol content.

The stop was made at 12:26 a.m. on the outskirts of the campus, an area populated by college housing, modest restaurants and low-slung apartment buildings.

There was no record of Cordileone being in custody on Monday. The San Diego city attorney's office, which prosecutes misdemeanor DUI offenses, said it had not received a report on the arrest.

The San Francisco archdiocese did not immediately respond to phone and email messages seeking comment.

Cordileone, 56, is a native of San Diego, where he was raised and ordained as a priest in 1982. In July, Pope Benedict XVI selected him to replace Archbishop George Niederauer, who is retiring in October. Cordileone was most recently bishop of Oakland and several years ago, he was an auxiliary bishop in San Diego.

While serving in San Diego four years ago, Cordileone was instrumental in devising an initiative to strip same-sex couples of the right to wed in California and then raising Catholic dollars to qualify it for the ballot. He also was part of a statewide network of clergy that promoted the measure, known as Proposition 8. Campaign finance records show he personally gave at least $6,000 to back the voter-approved ban.

Since last year, Cordileone has been chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

In an interview with the National Catholic Register last year, Cordileone said that same-sex marriage is "a very serious social experiment that will have dire consequences."

At a news conference last month, he said he thought the Roman Catholic Church had come a long way in addressing the issue of clergy sex abuse and reiterated his opposition to gay marriage.

"Marriage can only come about through the embrace of a man and a woman coming together," he said. "I don't see how that is discriminatory against anyone."

The archdiocese serves more than 400,000 Catholics in the city and neighboring Marin and San Mateo counties. As archbishop, he will oversee the bishops in Honolulu, Las Vegas, Oakland, Reno, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Jose, Santa Rosa, and Stockton.

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  • Oh Jed said:, 2012-08-27 19:27:51

    I could read news like this all day long... Of course they won’t tell us what this holy dickhead’s BAC actually was...probably so it’ll make it easier for him to make it go away.

  • , 2012-08-27 22:04:49

    And what was he doing near a campus at midnight? Hearing confessions? Humm.....

  • , 2012-08-27 23:05:29

    This man was placed as archbishop as a slap to San Francisco. He is hateful, proud of it, and he will probably be promoted up the catholic church ....

  • Oh Jed said:, 2012-08-27 23:40:38

    It looks like they’re already working to cover up the situation. He was taking his mother home after a dinner party. She apparently lives in the SDSU area. He got snagged at a check point, failed the field sobriety test, spent the night in jail and posted $2,500. bail at noon the next day. They refused to tell us the actual Blood Alcohol level.

  • gdhamf, 2012-08-28 04:14:41

    $6000.00 so much for that vow of poverty that Catholic priests take. I know of no one in poverty that could come up with 6grand to toss around politically

  • Oh Jed said:, 2012-08-28 11:09:02

    I was very involved with the catholic church growing up. When I was battling the rationalization of being gay and hated by god, I became friends with some priests. Most of them are gay and the straight ones are the pedophiles. Priests only take a vow of poverty in the public eye in their community. Many of them have pretty opulent lives behind the scenes with lots of swag and desire for material things. Many of them also have luxery cars they own, but keep registered in someone else’s name. That’s why I call Catholics the biggest hypocrisy of all. I’d place a bet this character is no stranger to the flavor of penison.

  • , 2012-08-28 13:35:23

    SHAME on him to be so hateful and he’ s a drunk, lol. All Catholics should beware, a select group of grown men wearing dresses who molest boys but are going to tell me who to live. SHAME on the pope to he’s not loving either and hides behind his dress also. I was catholic but don’t believe now because ALL practicing Catholics are HATEFUL people!!

  • , 2012-08-28 14:59:28

    It is too bad that a public figure can not just be treated by the rest of the population. Yes he was arrested with a DUI. Aren’t there many of us who have had a little too much to drink and not felt it. No one knows how high his blood alcohol was except for the police and himself. We all make mistakes and he is no exception. It is unfortunate that the press can not just let it go now that the situation has passed and he has agreed to serve his debt to society. He deserves the gratitude and support of all in his new diocese and his former.

  • Oh Jed said:, 2012-08-28 17:10:33

    Let me tell you what he deserves... People who enjoy the luxuries of being a public figure have a louder, more resonating voice and more persuasive oportunities than your typical pedestrian. With that "power" comes a greater responsibility to abide by the law, not get caught with your pecker out in public and have pristine behavior as an example for the sheep that follow them. Being that he uses his persuasive "power" to encourage fear, disseminate misinformation and foster hatred toward LGBT people in the guise of spreading God’s "loving" word... He deserves every little mishap, inconvenience, hemorrhoid and embarrassment Karma chooses to send his way. Amen

  • Wayne M., 2012-08-29 19:41:18

    I suppose that since he is "pro-life" (or claims to be), he thinks that if he hits a pedestrian while driving under the influence, he is not going to hurt or kill that person. If he is truly and honestly pro-life, he is going to ensure his own behaviours do not endanger the life and health of others.

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