The city of San Francisco can easily claim the title as the most gay-friendly city in the US. So naturally the Vatican chose as its new archbishop one of the most hardline anti-gay clerics.
As a bishop, Salvatore Joseph Cordileone was one of the leaders in the 2008 fight that passed the voter initiative that banned gay marriage in the state, which was then overturned by the federal courts, and is now likely to be decided by the US Supreme Court in the coming term.
Cordileone was arrested for drunk driving just a few days before his installation ceremony as archbishop and pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless driving that carries with it a standard sentence for three years’ probation and a $1,120 fine. He had the nerve to joke about his arrest during the ceremony, chuckling that “I know in my life God has always had a way of putting me in my place. I would say, though, that in the latest episode of my life God has outdone himself.”
Oh, that Catholic god! Such a kidder, don’t you know, with his mysterious ways and all. He makes an archbishop drive drunk, risking the lives of others on the road, just to teach him a lesson in humility that he could have achieved by the safer means of having him trip on his cassock and hit himself with his crook during the ceremony procession.
Cordileone and his staff even went further and denied an Episcopal bishop Marc Andrus admission to the installation ceremony. This bishop had fought against the same-sex ban and this may have been the reason behind the petty snub.
Cordileone seems like a nasty piece of work and the similarity of his name with that of the family in the Godfather films seems weirdly appropriate. I think we are going to hear a lot about and from him in the future. And it will not be good.