Anti-Gay San Francisco Archbishop-Elect in DUI Arrest
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.