Outspoken gay marriage foe installed as San Francisco archbishop

Thu Oct 4, 2012 10:02pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Ronnie Cohen

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The Catholic Church on Thursday installed Salvatore Cordileone, a leader in the fight against same-sex marriage, as archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

Following his installation as the religious leader of more than 500,000 Catholics in the largely gay-friendly Bay Area, Cordileone, 56, delivered a sermon and spoke about his recent arrest after failing a sobriety test at a police checkpoint.

"God has always had a way of putting me in my place," he said. "With the last episode in my life, God has outdone Himself."

Cordileone spent about 11 hours in a San Diego jail cell in August after he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. On Monday, he pleaded guilty to driving with alcohol in his system, said Gina Coburn, spokeswoman for the San Diego City Attorney.

Cordileone has been particularly outspoken in Church opposition to same-sex matrimony as chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, a role that has put him at odds with many Bay Area Catholics.

He also led Church support for the 2008 voter-approved California state constitutional amendment, Proposition 8, that banned gay marriage.

While taking his place as the archbishop of San Francisco and two other area counties, Cordileone called the drunken driving incident a "regrettable mistake."

Pope Benedict appointed Cordileone to preside over the Archdiocese of San Francisco in July.   Continued...

Bishop Salvatore Cordileone and Bishop Walter Edyvean chat after an executive session of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Spring General Assembly in Bellevue, Washington, June 16, 2011. REUTERS/Marcus Donner