Former CDF prefect charged with driving under influence

A Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has been charged in Hawaii with driving under the influence.

Cardinal William Levada, 79, was stopped at about midnight on August 20 on the state’s Big Island.

A police spokeswoman said the cardinal was pulled over after a Kona patrol officer saw him driving erratically.

Cardinal Levada was driving a 2015 Nissan Altima and was alone in the car at the time.

He was reportedly on vacation with priest friends when the arrest occurred.

After he was charged, he was released from police custody after posting US$500 bail.

The cardinal is required to appear in Kona District Court on September 24.

“I regret my error in judgment. I intend to continue fully cooperating with the authorities,” Cardinal Levada said in an email statement issued on August 24 by San Francisco archdiocese.

When asked how the archdiocese handles situations like this, spokesman Michael Brown said that in this specific case, “‘punishment’ is not a factor”.

Cardinal Levada is a former archbishop of San Francisco and before that of Portland, Oregon.  He was elevated to cardinal in 2006.

In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, a post he held for seven years.

In 2012, he stepped down from presidencies of the International Theological Commission, the Pontifical Biblical Commission and the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”.

He participated in the conclave that elected Pope Francis in 2013.

In June next year, he will turn 80, after which he will not be able to vote in future conclaves to elect popes.


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