Archbishop’s mother blames herself for drunk driving charge

San Francisco’s new Catholic archbishop is scheduled to be arraigned on a drunk driving charge on October 9 — five days after his installation — following his arrest while driving his mother home from dinner at a friend’s house.

Archbishop-elect Salvatore Cordileone’s mother Mary told media she blamed herself for her son’s misdemeanour.

Archbishop Cordileone, his mother and a priest friend visiting from Germany had been at dinner at the home of friends in San Diego. While driving his mother home, the archbishop was stopped at a police checkpoint, where he exceeded California’s alcohol limit of 0.08 per cent — the same as New Zealand’s limit for drivers aged over 20.

“We were invited to some friend’s house and he loved his wine and they kept filling his glass and filling his glass,” said Mrs Cordileone. “And I didn’t want to seem like a bossy mother. I should’ve told him, ‘You’re drinking too much wine’.”

The police officer who made the arrest said: “He was very calm, somewhat apologetic at the time. He said he’d been drinking. But he wasn’t a stumbling, falling-down drunk.”

Archbishop Cordileone, 56, spent the night in jail and was released after posting a $2500 bond.

In a statement, he said: “I apologise 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.”

If convicted, Archbishop Cordileone faces penalties of up to three years of probation, two days in jail, an $1800 fine and sobriety counselling.

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the only other traffic infraction he has committed was failing to stop at a stop sign two days before Christmas last year.


Washington Post

Catholic Online

Image: CBS8

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