Salvatore Cordileone
New S.F. Archbishop Arrested on DUI Charge

By Trudy Ring

Originally published on Advocate.com August 27 2012 8:50 PM ET

The newly appointed Catholic archbishop of San Francisco, an outspoken opponent of marriage equality, has been arrested on a drunk driving charge.

Bishop Salvatore Cordileone was arrested at a DUI checkpoint early Saturday morning near the state university campus in San Diego after having dinner with friends, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. He was released from jail about noon after posting $2,500 in bail and is scheduled to appear in court on the charge October 9, five days after he is due to be installed as head of the San Francisco archdiocese.

Cordileone was a leader in the effort to pass Proposition 8, which amended California’s constitution in 2008 to nullify a marriage equality ruling by the state Supreme Court. He has held various church posts in California during his career and has been bishop of Oakland since 2009. He also served for a time in a church court in Rome.

When he was named to replace retiring San Francisco archbishop George Niederauer, who also was active in the Prop. 8 campaign, Cordileone expressed frustration at the attention given to his own work in opposition to marriage equality. “I wish I didn’t have to expend so much time and energy on something that should be so self-evident,” he told the Chronicle. “But this is a high-profile issue. ... For whatever God’s reason, it’s the issue he’s given us at this point in history, so I’m not going to run from it.”

He issued a written statement Monday addressing the DUI charge. “I apologize for my error in judgment and feel shame for the disgrace I have brought upon the Church and myself,” he wrote. “I will repay my debt to society and I ask forgiveness from my family and my friends and co-workers at the Diocese of Oakland and the Archdiocese of San Francisco. ... I pray that God, in His inscrutable wisdom, will bring some good out of this.”