Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, who will be installed as archbishop of San Francisco Oct. 4, was arrested Aug. 25 on suspicion of drunk driving after being stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, police said. CNS photo/courtesy Diocese of Oakland

Archbishop apologizes after drunken driving arrest

By  Catholic News Service
  • August 29, 2012

OAKLAND, Calif. - Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, to be installed in October as archbishop of San Francisco, was arrested in San Diego early Aug. 26 for driving under the influence.

The archbishop, a San Diego native, had his mother in the car.

In an Aug. 27 statement issued from the diocese of Oakland, which Cordileone has led for the past three years, the prelate apologized “for my error in judgment” and said he felt “shame for the disgrace I have brought upon the Church and myself.”

“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,” he added. “I pray that God, in His inscrutable wisdom, will bring some good out of this.”

According to the archbishop’s statement, he was driving his mother to her home after dinner at the home of some friends, “along with a priest friend visiting from outside the country.”

Cordileone’s mother lives near the campus of San Diego State University, where police had set up a DUI checkpoint.

He admitted in his statement that he was found to be over California’s legal blood alcohol level, which is 0.08 per cent.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Cordileone spent the night in jail, and was released shortly before noon once he posted a $2,500 bond. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the misdemeanor charge Oct. 9 — five days after his scheduled installation as San Francisco’s archbishop. If convicted, Cordileone faces penalties of up to three years of probation, two days in jail and an $1,800 fine.

Mark McCullough, the police officer making the arrest, told the Chronicle that Cordileone appeared intoxicated but was amiable.

“He was very calm, somewhat apologetic at the time,” McCullough said. “He said he’d been drinking. But he wasn’t a stumbling, falling-down drunk.”

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