Archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore Cordileone and his predecessor, retired Cardinal William Levada, have a new conversation topic in addition to "being Archbishop of SF is so hard, what with all the pesky gays, trans people, etc." Now they can discuss what it's like to be arrested for a DUI, as Levada recently joined Cordileone in the rogue's gallery of SF clergymen convicted for drunk driving.
It was back in 2012 that then Archbishop-elect Cordileone was pulled over in San Diego as he drove his mom and a priest pal home, though police said that the time that he was "obviously impaired."
According to police, his blood alcohol level was 0.11, in excess of California's legal limit of 0.08. Cordileone ended up pleading guilty to alcohol-related reckless driving and was sentenced to "three years’ probation and ordered to pay a fine. He also will have to attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving victim-impact panel and a three-month first conviction program through the state Department of Motor Vehicles," the San Diego Union Tribune reported at the time.
It appears that Levada, who was SF's Archbishop from 1995-2005 before being promoted to Cardinal, didn't learn from his colleague's mistakes, as the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported last week that he, too, had been busted for drunk driving while in their state while on a clergymen's holiday.
According to the Tribune-Herald, the bust took place during an August 19, 2015, traffic stop. "Levada was driving a 2015 Nissan Altima and was alone in the car," they report, "when he was pulled over after a patrol officer saw him swerve while driving northbound on Queen Kaahumanu Highway north of Kealakehe Parkway."
The 79-year-old Levada had a blood-alcohol level of 0.168 at the time of the stop, which is more than double Hawaii's legal limit, the Associated Press reported Friday. He was arrested, charged, and released after he posted $500 bail at the time of the arrest, according to the Catholic News Agency.
In court proceedings on January 25, Levada pleaded no contest to the charges, but "wasn’t required to appear at the hearing and was not present." He was fined $300, ordered to pay $162 in additional fees, and "was ordered to undergo substance abuse assessment and to follow any recommended treatment."
His driver's license was also revoked for one year.
Levada, who was was the highest ranking American Cardinal under Pope Benedict XVI before his retirement in 2012, lives in Menlo Park at the lovely St. Patrick's Seminary. According to a spokesperson with the Archdiocese of San Francisco, Levada was "vacationing with other priests" in Hawaii at the time of the arrest.
In a statement released by the Archdiocese of SF, Levada said that “I regret my error in judgment. I intend to continue fully cooperating with the authorities."