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San Francisco archbishop-elect, Bishop Cordileone, apologizes for DUI arrest

Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, the Roman Catholic archbishop-elect of San Francisco, issued an apology after he was arrested at a DUI checkpoint in San Diego, Calif. KNTV's Cheryl Hurd reports.

Updated at 11:05 p.m. ET: Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, San Francisco's Roman Catholic archbishop-elect who was arrested early Monday for driving under the influence in San Diego, apologized, saying he felt "shame for the disgrace I have brought upon the church and myself."

Cordileone, who last month was named the next archbishop of San Francisco, was arrested early Saturday morning, according to police. Authorities stopped him at a checkpoint near the San Diego State University campus, the AP reported.

Cordileone, a San Diego native, was released on $2,500 bail about 11 hours after his release, a San Diego detective told Reuters. He had been booked on a misdemeanor DUI charge after he was stopped at a police checkpoint and failed a field sobriety test.

In his apology, released as a statement by his diocese, Cordileone said: "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."


Cordileone, 56, is currently the bishop in the Diocese of Oakland, Calif. Previously, Cordileone was an auxiliary bishop in San Diego, the AP reported.

He is expected to take over San Francisco's top spot when the current archbishop, 76-year-old George H. Niederauer, retires in October. Cordileone must make a court appearance on Oct. 9, the AP reported.

Michael Ritty, a private practice canon lawyer in upstate New York, told the AP that since Catholic bishops are accountable to the pope, potential discipline would have to come from the Vatican.

"If there was anything, it would be handled in Rome, most likely by the Congregation for Bishops. Depending on the question or type of criminal charge, it might go directly to the Pope or as directly as you can get," Ritty said.

Cordileone is known for being a strong, public opponent of same-sex marriage, and he is expected to govern 432,000 Catholics under his new post in the largely gay-friendly Bay Area. He'll also oversee the bishops in Honolulu, Las Vegas, Oakland, Reno, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Jose, Santa Rosa and Stockton, according to the AP.

The Archdiocese of San Francisco office declined to comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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