The Roman Catholic archbishop-elect of San Francisco has been arrested for investigation of driving under the influence in San Diego.
A police spokesman says the Rev. Salvatore Cordileone was arrested early Saturday morning. Cordileone was arrested in the 5100 block of College Ave. on suspicion of DUI around 12:26 a.m., according to a police statement.
There was a checkpoint in place, according to San Diego Police, where Cordileone failed a field sobriety test. He blew more than a .08 on an initial test. When offered a second test, he again blew more than the legal limit.
Police said Cordileone was cooperative and understanding throughout. His elderly mother was in the car with him and she drove away from the scene once her son was transported to jail with three other detainees.
He was booked into San Diego County Jail and later released on bail. He was bailed out at 11:39 a.m. Saturday, with bail set at $2,500.
The archbishop-elect's first court appearance is October 9 at 8:30 a.m. He faces misdemeanor charges after being arrested at a checkpoint. His blood-alcohol level is not being released at this time, according to police.
Father Jay Matthews, an outspoken pastor at St. Benedict Parish in Oakland, says he's worked closely with former Bishop Salvadore Cordileone for the past three years.
He says the soon to be archbishop of San Francisco needs support during this tough time.
"This is a moment of understanding and a moment of compassion and they would certainly give the archbishop the benefit of the doubt, Matthews said."
James Campbell specializes in DUI cases. He says this arrest could effect his job and prevent him from traveling to Canada and New Zealand.
The Archbishop released the following statement Monday afternoon:
“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. 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. 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.”
In July, Pope Benedict XVI selected the Cordileone to replace Archbishop George Niederauer, who is retiring in October.
Cordileone was most recently bishop of Oakland and several years ago was an auxiliary bishop in San Diego.
He is a vigorous supporter of California's same-sex marriage ban.