San Francisco archbishop apologizes after DUI arrest
August 27th, 2012
10:42 PM ET

San Francisco archbishop apologizes after DUI arrest

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - The newly appointed archbishop of San Francisco apologized Monday after being arrested Saturday in San Diego on an allegation of driving under the influence.

"I apologize for my error in judgment and feel shame for the disgrace I have brought upon the church and myself," Archbishop-designate Salvatore Cordileone said in a written statement.

"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."

Cordileone was stopped at a routine DUI checkpoint, according to Lt. Gary Hassen of the San Diego police.

"While visiting in San Diego this past weekend, I had dinner at the home of some friends along with a priest friend visiting from outside the country and my mother, who lives near San Diego State University," according to Cordileone. "While driving my mother home, I passed through a DUI checkpoint the police had set up near the SDSU campus before I reached her home, and was found to be over the California legal blood-alcohol level."

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The state's legal limit is .08%.

Cordileone was bailed out of the San Diego County Jail on Sunday morning, Hassen said. The officer did not know who posted the $2,500 bond.

Pope Benedict on July 27 named Cordileone the new metropolitan archbishop of San Francisco.

Cordileone, who had served as bishop of Oakland since May 2009, was appointed after the resignation of Archbishop George H. Niederauer, 76, according to the the website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Cordileone is to be installed St. Mary's Cathedral in October, according to CNN affiliate KGO.

He was a controversial choice for San Francisco, which has a large gay population. Cordileone is known as a conservative on social issues and was a vigorous supporter of Proposition 8, the voter-approved measure to ban same-sex marriage in California.

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A federal appeals court ruled against Proposition 8 in February, saying it unconstitutionally singles out gays and lesbians for discrimination.

Supporters of Proposition 8, which passed with 52% of the vote in 2008, said they were willing to take the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court. A stay halting same-sex marriages remains in place as the appeals continue.

CNN's Deanna Proeller contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church

soundoff (282 Responses)
  1. Elmeaux

    His eyes look a little bloodshot in the article picture.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • Lucifer

      And he's not even drunk in that photo. Well, I dunno, if you have to be sober for official catholic photos... probably not.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • Yuppy Puppy

      That's his mug shot.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:32 am |
  2. mikem

    How did 88 year old mom get home? Took a Taxi?

    August 28, 2012 at 12:18 am |
  3. Brian

    My doctor told me that most of his clergy patients are "closet alcoholics."

    August 28, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Matthew

      Not surprising at all. Their careers entail decades of being on call for other people 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. Spiritual and personal crises don't take vacations, and thus clergy are never really off duty. Coupled with the fact that they are usually only called by people during their darkest and most desperate situations, it's extremely easy to understand why many clearly turn to the bottle to cope.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:44 am |
  4. Billy

    I wonder what Popeferatu was drinking when he decided that it would be a good idea to send the anti-gay archbigot to San Francisco? Not exactly a good strategy towin friends and influence people.

    Maybe Torquemada was unavailable.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:11 am |
  5. Osilamah

    We all should remember that we are all human's and we shouldn't judge the archbishop. He made a mistake and he appologise to the entire world, if we all know we are perfect we should keep criticizing the poor bishop.smh

    August 28, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Alien Orifice

      fuk him and fuk you. If you don't know not to drink and drive by now, 2012, you are a complete moron and deserve no sympathy. If I did, I would not expect to be forgiven.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • NanH

      Tell that to the bishop who judges gays, lesbians, divorced people, Jews, Muslims, atheists and so on. Talk about judging, gheseez

      August 28, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Alien Orifice

      Exactly NanH, he wants forgivness but is intolerant of everybody else. It just exemplifies the hypocrisy of Christians.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Billy

      We shouldn't judge drunk drivers? You really want to stand by that ludicrous statement?

      August 28, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • Osilamah

      @ alien office I think there is more to this........shame on u, focus on ur own life and stop criticizing others

      August 28, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • Paul

      It's wrong to criticize drunk drivers, but okay to criticize gays like this archbigot has?

      Nice hypocrisy, buddy.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • Mike

      When he kills somebody, perhaps one of your family members, as drunk drivers often do, will another apology again be all that you need? One of my coworkers lost his 16 year old daughter to a drunk driver that had been forgiven a few times. Drunk driving isn't a minor matter solely between this man and his god.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:42 am |
    • LovesIrony


      @ alien office I think there is more to this........shame on u, focus on ur own life and stop criticizing others

      Give this advice to the archbishop

      August 28, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  6. NanH

    "While driving my mother home, I passed through a DUI checkpoint the police had set up near the SDSU campus before I reached her home, and was found to be over the California legal blood-alcohol level."

    I don't know but this whole sentence sounds like whining to me. More like I would have been fine if the police hadn't set up a check point on my route, how dare them, I'm a priest and would never do anything wrong.

    August 27, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Alien Orifice


      August 27, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • What a maroon!

      I wonder if he thinks that drink-driving mommy somehow sound more acceptable to the world.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • Alien Orifice

      1. "I can handle my liquor" – According to police, this one typically applies to the "macho" variety of men who feel their exaggerated sense of manliness enables them to overcome the effects of alcohol. The problem with this argument is that there is no physical evidence to support it. Alcohol affects you no matter your size, or if you are a man or women. The outward affects just may be different for you compared to others. If you consume too much alcohol you will be impaired. It doesn’t matter how tough you think you might be.

      2. "I don't want to pay for a taxi" – Depending on the distance you have to travel it could be a significant cost to get home in a taxi. You could instead plan ahead and use other options, such as have a designated driver, transit or arrange to stay at a friend’s home. If no other options are available, no matter the cost of a taxi it is better than taking the risk of losing your license or hurting yourself or others.

      3. "Leaving my car overnight is a hassle" – Going back to the bar or party location the next day can be a hassle, but it pales in comparison to having your car impounded by police.

      4. "I always make it home after a few" – Each year in British Columbia, approximately 120 people don't make it home due to alcohol related crashes. The drivers who survive those collisions often tell police afterwards that they had very little to drink and really didn't think they were impaired, despite the fact their blood-alcohol levels were well over the legal limit. Impairment begins with the first drink and you do not always know how impaired you are.

      5. "It's only a short drive home" – No matter the distance, a police road check could be anywhere. If you live close by, pay for a taxi instead.

      6. "I'm OK to drive" – If you have consumed even one alcoholic drink you have already impaired your judgment. You cannot truly decide if you are ok to drive. So don’t drink and drive. You can plan ahead of time to arrange a safe ride home for everyone.

      7. "One more drink won't hurt" – Wrong. Every drink you consume adds to your level of impairment. It doesn’t take many drinks before you realize you are more intoxicated then you believed.

      8. "They only take your license if you're drunk" – Imagine for a moment that every person at a sold-out Canucks game has their license suspended and their car impounded. Then imagine that same arena filled to capacity for another game – and once again, every person in the building has their licence suspended and their car impounded. That's the approximate number (more than 38,000) of drivers each year in British Columbia who are caught by police when their ability to drive is affected by alcohol or drugs. Like the sign says at GM Place: "If you drink, don't drive."

      9. "I'm more careful after a couple" – You might think that, but it isn’t true. Alcohol affects your reaction time, decision-making, coordination and visual functions; your ability to steer, track moving objects and brake appropriately; and your ability to control your speed and lane position. The more you drink, the worse you drive.

      10. "I wasn't drinking I only smoked a joint" – Studies have shown that "stoned" drivers who have taken drugs other than alcohol (such as prescription drugs, cannabis, or cocaine) can be every bit as dangerous as a drunk driver. New legislation in BC now allows police to test drivers they suspect may be drug-impaired; if are convicted under the legislation you face the same penalties as drivers convicted for driving under the influence of alcohol.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:03 am |
  7. Gere

    Does CNN even realize how blatently obvious they are so anti-Christian? I can just see some sloth of an editor sitting at the end of a table with a big smile on his/her face when they first hear the news...."ohhhhhh throw that one up, baby!"

    August 27, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      So what is the problem with that?

      August 27, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • JinFL

      Thats a nice way to distract yourself from the reality of this article

      August 27, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
  8. Jack

    Everyone is cordially invited to visit – thestarofkaduri.com

    August 27, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Typical Christian

      thestarofkaduri? That's that Catholic clergy bar over Hypocrisy Street.

      Sure. We'll just finish our bottles of Jack and drive on over to visit.

      August 27, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
  9. rob

    The pigs in the Catholic cult truly are a disgusting bunch of bigots and hypocrites. And another bigot, Delegate Donald Dwyer from Maryland, was arrested for drunk boating last weekend after crashing and injuring 4 adults and 5 children. What vermin.

    August 27, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Yup

      Are you really surprised that these champions of morality don't have enough morality to not drink and operate machinery?

      August 27, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
  10. Maggie

    Now go to confession. Remember: Bless Me Father for I have Sinned? When your finished confessing your sins your penance will be: 100 Hail Mary's, 100 Our Fathers and 1000 Acts of Contrition. Go In Peace!

    August 27, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
  11. mantex

    Frankly .... as long as his back seat and his trunk was not filled with children ... give him a break

    August 27, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
  12. Badda bing

    Catholic "morality" is really hilarious!

    August 27, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
  13. Alex

    DUI is a crime that needs to be taken seriously. Fortunately Cordileone was stopped at a checkpoint and not as a result of killing some in a crash. Cordileone should do some jail time for his actions.

    August 27, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • Matthew

      Nobody does jail time for a first DUI. There simply isn't enough room in the jails.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:47 am |
  14. nowayhesaidthat

    " I pray that God, in his inscrutable wisdom, will bring some good out of this."

    Well DUH! . . . your god certainly didn't show such inscrutable wisdom by not keeping you sober in the first place . . . now he/she/it has to work harder. You will not get a gold star this month.

    August 27, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
  15. ChristardMingle.com

    fuk him, he could have killed somebody. Like my children.

    August 27, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • ChicagoLoop

      My thought as well. My business partner was killed by a drunk driver 2 years ago. She was a great lady, married, and had two teenage daughters. She was killed just 4 days after her 40th birthday and one week before her daughter graduated from high school. I have no sympathy for this archbishop whatsoever.

      August 27, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
  16. CACkle

    He must not think much of his mother.

    August 27, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • ed murphy

      so if it wasn't for his mother, he would not have been caught? what's the good Pope to do now that his conservative idiot appointee has to go preach to the gays in San Francisco about leading a straight arrow life? the catholic church is so in need of another reformation. print this and nail it to the Pope's forehead.

      August 27, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
  17. rj

    @ Dave.... good comment

    August 27, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
  18. Fritzie

    He is a typical hypocrite. An intolerant anti-gay archbishop for San Francisco?! He who is without sin, cast the first stone: NOT.....

    August 27, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
  19. Mark

    The new position obviously calls for a chauffeur.

    August 27, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
  20. dave

    Hmmm, what actually hurts society, gay marriage or drunk drivers?

    August 27, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • chuck

      I would have to go with (b) drunk drivers.

      August 27, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • biff

      gay drivers

      August 28, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • Jam One

      Drunk marriages

      August 28, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • Tiffany Epiphany


      August 28, 2012 at 12:54 am |
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