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US bishops' point man on same-sex marriage named new Archbishop of San Francisco

July 27, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has named Bishop Salvatore Cordileone the new Archbishop of San Francisco.

The appointment is certain to create shockwaves in a city known for homosexual activism. Recognized as a leading force behind the 2008 passage of Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman, Archbishop-elect Cordileone was named chairman of the US bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage in 2011 by Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

In June of this year he came into conflict with leaders of the Catholic Association for Gay and Lesbian (CALGM) ministries, who refused his request to take an oath pledging to uphold Church teachings regarding human sexuality. (CALGM is headquartered in Oakland, where Bishop Cordileone has been serving.)

Born in 1956, Bishop Cordileone was ordained a priest of the Diocese of San Diego in 1982 and appointed Auxiliary Bishop of San Diego in 2002. He was named Bishop of Oakland in 2009.

Bishop Cordileone succeeds Archbishop George Niederauer, who has retired at age 76. Archbishop Niederauer has found himself frequently facing opposition to Church teachings from gay-rights activists and from the high-profile statements of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a resident of the archdiocese.


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Show 8 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Leferink557202 - Jul. 27, 2012 9:30 PM ET USA

    I think this is a statement appointment by our Holy Father. Archbishop-designate Cordileone is a native Californian who, coming from Oakland, knows the Bay Area quite well. While this is certainly a "lamb-amongst-the-wolves" situation, I think it's a marvelous choice by Pope Benedict. God grant Archbishop Salvatore the patience and grace to transform an area of our country that has strayed so far from Christ.

  • Posted by: BobJ70777069 - Jul. 27, 2012 6:15 PM ET USA

    Please Lord, may he live up to his name.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Jul. 27, 2012 5:58 PM ET USA

    Let us all pray for this brave bishop, who will be scorned and spat upon from day one. And, folks, "missteps of Vatican II"? The DOCUMENTS of VC II are excellent statements of the faith, with many misinterpretations, especially by those with axes to grind. Had the documents instead of the liberal "spirit" of VC II been followed, we would all be in a better place.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 27, 2012 1:53 PM ET USA

    Kudos to Pope Benedict XVI on his choice of Bishop Salvatore Cordileone. The tide is finally turning in the US Church's leadership away from the many mis-steps of Vatican II to a more tradition bound Catholic Church that will not be afraid to stand firmly but lovingly against the current forces of secularism in American society as well as the many high profile Catholics who hold public views that are contrary to Church teachings/dogma especially those that are intrinsic evils such as abortion.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Jul. 27, 2012 1:29 PM ET USA

    Our prayers for Abp. Cordileone. What a crucifixion of an appointment!

  • Posted by: normnuke - Jul. 27, 2012 11:10 AM ET USA

    This sholuld prove VERY interesting in time to come.

  • Posted by: Defender - Jul. 27, 2012 11:03 AM ET USA

    It shall be interesting to see if the new archbishop will finally excommunicate Pelosi or not, both Archbishop Niederauer and Cardinal Wuerl have run away from doing so. Of course, Cardinal Dolan has run away, thus far, from NYC's mayor-apparent Christine Quinn, who is an avowed lesbian city council member. Both Pelosi and Quinn say that the Catholic Church is their church and have openly defied its teachings for far too long.

  • Posted by: Saint Jimbob of the Apokalypse - Jul. 27, 2012 10:26 AM ET USA

    Well, let's see if the new bishop is a little more aware of the pastoral challenges than his predecessor. Watch for the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to test his vigilance and fortitude. In other non-news, the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska is still waiting for Rome to find a successor to Bishop Bruskewitz. There must not be any rush, as it's been 2 years since he announced his retirement.