Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Incoming San Francisco Archbishop Apologizes for Drunken Driving

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Incoming San Francisco Archbishop Apologizes for Drunken Driving

Article excerpt

Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of Oakland, Calif., a leading conservative in the Catholic hierarchy who is set to become the next archbishop of San Francisco, was arrested Aug. 25 for drunken driving and has apologized "for the disgrace I have brought upon the church and myself."

Catholic experts said the arrest was not likely to derail Cordileone's installation, set for Oct. 4, given that it appeared to be an isolated incident and he apologized so quickly and publicly. Cordileone, 56, was taken into custody Aug. 25, a Saturday, at 12:26 a.m. after San Diego police stopped his vehicle at a DUI checkpoint near the San Diego State University campus. A native of San Diego, he was booked into the county jail on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence and was released later that morning after posting $2,500 bail.

In a statement Aug. 27, Cordileone explained that he was having dinner at the home of some friends, along with his 88-year-old mother, who lives near the university. He was driving his mother home after midnight when he was stopped by police "and was found to be over the California legal blood alcohol level."

California's legal limit is 0.08 percent, and neither the bishop nor police said by how much Cordileone surpassed that threshold.

"He was a driver that was obviously impaired but he was quite cordial and polite throughout," Officer Mark McCullough, who was at the scene, told The Associated Press. "He was not a belligerent drunk at all. ... There were no problems with him throughout the night. …

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