US archbishop Salvatore Cordileone apologises for drink-driving arrest

 

The Roman Catholic archbishop-elect of San Francisco has apologised for his arrest on suspicion of drunken driving, behaviour that he said brought "shame" and "disgrace" on himself and the church, though legal experts said was unlikely to derail his promotion. 

The Reverand Salvatore Cordileone said in a statement issued yesterday by his office that he was driving home from a dinner with friends in San Diego with his mother and a visiting priest friend early Saturday when he was pulled over at a checkpoint near San Diego State University.

The statement said a sobriety test showed his blood-alcohol level to be above the legal limit, although Cordileone did not reveal by how much.

"I apologize for my error in judgement 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."

Cordileone, 56, currently serves as bishop of Oakland and is scheduled to be installed as San Francisco archbishop on Oct. 4, five days before his first court date.

Pope Benedict XVI selected him last month to replace Archbishop George Niederauer, who is retiring in October.

Cordileone took a breath test that confirmed his blood alcohol content exceeded California's legal limit of 0.08 per cent, said Officer Mark McCullough, who declined to say by how much.

Cordileone, one of 11 people arrested at the checkpoint that night, identified himself as a priest, said McCullough. An officer did an Internet search and learned he was archbishop-elect.

Canon law experts said a criminal charge would not automatically prompt a delay in Cordileone's installation as archbishop, which is scheduled to take place at St. Mary's Cathedral on 4 October, the feast day of San Francisco's patron saint, St. Francis of Assisi.

Because Catholic bishops are answerable only to the pope, any potential discipline would have to come from the Vatican, said Michael Ritty, a canon lawyer in private practice in upstate New York.

The Rev. Thomas Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, predicted that Cordileone's arrest, while embarrassing, would only draw a response from Rome if it appeared he had a serious substance abuse problem that prevented him from carrying out the archbishop duties.

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.

The archdiocese serves more than 400,000 Catholics in the city of San Francisco and Marin and San Mateo counties. In the post, Cordileone would oversee the bishops in Honolulu, Las Vegas, Oakland, Reno, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Jose, Santa Rosa and Stockton.

AP

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links