Archbishop Cordileone DUI: San Francisco Archbishop Apologizes For Drunken Driving Arrest

Salvatore Cardileone, the bishop of Oakland whom Pope Benedict XVI picked as the next Archbishop of San Francisco, apologized Monday after being arrested Saturday in San Diego on an allegation of driving under the influence.

According to police reports, Rev. Cordileone, 56, was pulled over at 12:26 am Saturday at a DUI checkpoint near San Diego State University. After failing a sobriety test, the Archbishop-elect was arrested and booked into San Diego County jail.

“Cordileone was booked into San Diego County jail two hours after being stopped and then released at 11:59 a.m. Saturday on $2,500 bond, sheriff’s records show,” according to the Christian Post.

Following the incident, Cordileone, who was to be installed as San Francisco’s archbishop on October 4, released a statement outlining the events that led up to his arrest.

“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,” said Cordileone in the statement released by his diocese. “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 apologize for my error in judgment and feel shame for the disgrace I have brought upon the Church and myself,” he continued. “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.”


Though the San Francisco archdiocese didn’t immediately comment on Cordileone’s DUI arrest, the IB Times notes that Rev. Salvatore’s actions were unlikely to result in any punitive actions from higher up.

“The bottom line is there is no real requirement that he resign,” said Rev. Thomas Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. “If he is an out-of-control alcoholic who can’t function, that would be an issue, but obviously he has been the bishop of Oakland all these years and he seems to be able to function. Nobody knows if he has a drinking problem or was one fraction over the (blood alcohol) limit.”

Archbishop Cordileone is scheduled to appear in court on October 9.