SAN DIEGO — The Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, the Roman Catholic bishop of Oakland who was named by Pope Benedict XVI last month to become the Archbishop of San Francisco, was arrested in San Diego early Saturday on a charge of driving while under the influence.
Cordileone is one of California’s leading opponents of same-sex marriage, and was the principal architect of Proposition 8, the 2008 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.
According to a statement issued by his office, Cordileone was driving home from a dinner with friends in San Diego early Saturday when he was pulled over at a DUI checkpoint near San Diego State University.
The statement said a sobriety test showed his blood-alcohol level to be above the legal limit of 0.08 percent, although Cordileone did not reveal by how much.
“I apologize for my error in judgment and feel shame for the disgrace I have brought upon the Church and myself,” he said. “I pray that God, in His inscrutable wisdom, will bring some good out of this.”
According to the HRC, Cordileone played a central role in founding and executing the Protect Marriage campaign, and under his influence, Catholic organizations in California played a leading role in financing the Proposition 8 campaign. His partners included the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and Focus on the Family. In fact, it was Cordileone who personally phoned NOM co-founder Maggie Gallagher and asked her to get NOM involved in the Prop 8 fight.
“Bishop Cordileone has proven himself to be an anti-gay activist who encourages and promotes discrimination against LGBT people,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin.
Cordileone, 56, is scheduled to be installed as the San Francisco Archbishop on Oct. 4, five days before his first court appearance.
Because Catholic bishops are answerable only to the Pope, any potential discipline outside the justice system, would have to come from the Vatican, said Michael Ritty, a canon lawyer in private practice in upstate New York, in a report by the Associated Press.