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. jonp

    Now I have this image of Catholic priests binge drinking, doing blow, and banging little kids. These guys really love to party.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • truth be told

      Your concept of party says more about you than any priest. You are mentally sick.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • dave

      so you have an image of a guy doing a kid cuz he had too many beers? dude, you need help,

      August 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  2. Bman

    ArchBishop? I don't think so. Churches are reserved for special criminals. Common criminals are not needed.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  3. kathy

    Wonder if there were any altar boys in the trunk??

    August 28, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  4. dfwpaleking

    I can see it at the Vatican now
    ". . .Arch Bishop arrested? . . .uh oh.
    No, it was just a DUI, not what we were all thinking.
    What a relief . . ."

    August 28, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  5. PudninTane

    Just great. The pedophile priests weren't bad enough, now this. This is all we need. Really, everyone, most Catholics are normal folks! We're nowhere near as nutty as those fundamental evangelical creationists. They're freakin' off their rockers!

    August 28, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  6. Not All Docs Play Golf

    So, Salvatore Cordileone asks for forgiveness. I wonder if he is so forgiving of those who are driving while gay.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Guest

      Such as yourself?

      August 28, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Dave A.

      Bingo!! Well said! Perfect! He looks gay gay gay to me

      August 28, 2012 at 11:02 am |
  7. SensibleJoe

    An apology won't cut it. Cordileone needs to resign. The Bible says: "A bishop must be above reproach... Not a drunkard..." (1 Timothy 3:2-3). Cordileone has failed on both accounts. He needs to resign and live out the rest of his days in a monastery, after doing community service or jail time if convicted of his DUI.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • GetReal

      Yes and we know EVERYTHING in the bible should be followed without question......

      August 28, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • cnnmembuh

      Wow. One strike: you're out? That's pretty harsh. I hope God is not quite that hard on us. And the bible verse, to me, is speaking to a pattern of drunken behavior versus a single incident of over-imbibing on a relatively small scale.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Jim Lahey

      Hey cnnmembuh – good thing there isn't a god or we might have to worry about that. Wheew...close one.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Kramer23

      So this guy has an extra glass of wine at dinner and he should now resign? Wow!

      August 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • ajk68

      I don't think failing California's limit for driving necessarily makes one a drunk! If he had 8 oz (2/3 of a coke can) of wine in the hour before driving he would likely be DUI under CA law.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  8. Rob

    Asking forgiveness won't make the DUI charge go away.I hope they make an example out of him. According to the chart here http://www.factsontap.org/factsontap/naked_truth/blood_alcohol_levels.htm he probably downed 3-4 drinks within an hour.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  9. Jack 63

    Guess that sacramental wine has a helluva kick to it.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:49 am |
  10. cnnmembuh

    The clergy, being comprised of mere mortals, has never claimed to be infallible. And don't get started with the papal infallibility comments unless you truly understand the nuances of that concept. All people - including the very best among us - make mistakes. As long as this is an isolated incident, I would hope most people of good will would forgive it. And those absurdly jumping from an infraction involving a lack of judgment regarding alcohol consumption to pedophilia are merely showcasing your ignorance.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • SnafuBob

      Well said; I couldn't agree more.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • James PDX

      And yet we should be able to hold those preaching to us about sin to a higher standard. Otherwise we are just being talked down to by a bunch of hypocrites.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well said james.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Bman

      Yes and we're sure you have no conflict of interest in getting up on your soapbox to showcase how righteous you can be.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • manolito

      yes mortals, with too much authority from their congregation. who must have been the model worthy to be emulated by his flock. I was an altar boy myself in the early 60's and these church authorities themselves made me think a thousand times before i listen to them again merely because of what they were doing. I no longer go to church but I'm still a catholic and pray directly to god, myself and sometimes to allah, to jeovah or whatever name you want to call him.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  11. Jack

    Hello. Everyone is cordially invited to visit – thestarofkaduri.com

    August 28, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  12. howash Dao

    The POPE's finest on display !!!

    August 28, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  13. Jesus Christ


    August 28, 2012 at 9:12 am |
  14. Honey Badger Dont Care

    Hitting that sacramental wine a little hard were you?

    I wonder how much wine he had given the alter boys that night.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Kramer23

      It's so easy to take cheap shots, especially behind the anonymity of a keyboard. You must feel really good after posting your "joke" about how much wine he gave to the altar boys?

      August 28, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  15. Jesus Christ

    This is why I don't like the catholic church. It's corruption is unacceptable. Organized religion is for small minds and weak hearts.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      A DUI is organized criminal activity and corruption? Reaching a little aren't you?

      August 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    August 28, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Though I must admit that prayer hasn't helped me become straight! At the same time, I'm proud to be gay and out of the closet, so maybe prayer gave me the backbones for that.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Bill Deacon


      August 28, 2012 at 9:12 am |

      Please don't feed it.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • James PDX

      If prayer changes things, and you pray regularly, why does the world still suck?

      August 28, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • TROLL

      People with dementia can repeat themselves over and over again, by telling a repeat a word or phrase.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Dave A.

      My athiest kids are healthier than yours!! So there!

      August 28, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  17. Kebos

    to quote the archbishop: " I pray that God, in his inscrutable wisdom, will bring some good out of this."

    It was God's inscrutable wisdom that made you archbishop! These guys will say anything to sway public opinion.

    August 28, 2012 at 5:20 am |
  18. KGH

    .08? Good grief ... probably a couple of glasses of wine. I'm no fan of the catholic church but give this guy a break.

    August 28, 2012 at 4:50 am |
    • jhead271

      If you do a little research I think you'll find 0.08 is the standard for DUI in virtually every state in the country.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:02 am |
    • archchuzzlewit

      .08 is pretty much the standard and has been for the past 10 years or so.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • James PDX

      Regardless of whether you approve, it remains the law.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • Cabazon30

      He was ABOVE the legal limit of .08. The article did not state his reading.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  19. OMG

    At least he wasn't out raping a child I guess.

    August 28, 2012 at 4:16 am |
    • James PDX

      How do you know that isn't what he was driving toward?

      August 28, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  20. Orwell prefers Guyana punch

    Archbishop, there is still time to get to Tampa.

    August 28, 2012 at 4:06 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Jolly Timmy Dolan has that covered. But thanks anyway.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:43 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.