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San Francisco prelate arrested on DUI charge in San Diego

August 27, 2012 |  2:17 pm

Cordileone

The archbishop-elect for the Roman Catholic archdiocese of San Francisco was arrested Saturday morning on suspicion of drunk driving after being stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, police said.

Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, 56, who was appointed archbishop in July and is scheduled to be installed in October, was stopped just after midnight at a checkpoint near San Diego State University, police said. He was released from jail about noon after posting bail, said Det. Gary Hasen, a San Diego police spokesman.

Cordileone, a San Diego native who graduated from the University of San Diego, served for years in San Diego-area parishes. He is currently the bishop of Oakland.

A spokesman for the San Francisco archdiocese was unavailable for comment.

Cordileone, who also studied in Rome, was appointed auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of San Diego in 2002; seven years later he was named to the Oakland post.

Opponents of gay marriage have credited Cordileone for assisting in the 2008 passage of Proposition 8, the initiative banning same-sex marriage in California. Then based in San Diego, Cordileone rallied religious leaders and wealthy donors to raise nearly $1.5 million to get the proposition on the ballot.

Cordileone told the National Catholic Register last year that he believed gay marriage was "a very serious social experiment that will have dire consequences."

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-- Richard Marosi and Kate Mather

Photo: Newly appointed Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, center, speaks with other members of the church during a news conference at St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco in July. Credit: Michael Short / Associated Press
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