SAN FRANCISCO – Oakland Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, one of the leading architects in the campaign to pass the discriminatory Proposition 8 in California, has been named the new Archbishop of San Francisco by Pope Benedict XVI.
Cordileone played a central role in founding and executing the Protect Marriage campaign, and under his influence, Catholic organizations in California played a leading role in financing the Prop 8 campaign. His partners included the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and Focus on the Family. In fact, it was Cordileone who personally phoned NOM co-founder Maggie Gallagher and asked her to get NOM involved in the Prop 8 fight.
Now, as Archbishop of San Francisco, Cordileone will oversee more than 400,000 Catholic parishioners across 90 parishes. As a metropolitan archbishop, Cordileone will have bishops in dioceses including Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Honolulu, Sacramento and Reno under his supervision.
“Bishop Cordileone has proven himself to be an anti-gay activist who encourages and promotes discrimination against LGBT people,” said Chad Griffin, HRC president.
“Catholic teaching calls on us to love our neighbors and to treat others with the same respect we wish for ourselves. Unfortunately, Bishop Cordileone’s crusade against LGBT people indicates he doesn’t take these particular teachings to heart. While LGBT Catholics and their allies have worked relentlessly to create welcoming environments, the appointment of Bishop Cordileone sends a chilling message that, in the eyes of the hierarchy, same-sex relationships are not worthy of equal dignity and respect,” Griffin said.
Bishop Cordileone’s extremist views are out of step with the majority of Catholics. A May 2012 Gallup poll found support for marriage equality among Catholic at more than 50%, as did a recent poll from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
Cordileone is set to be ordained as San Francisco’s new archbishop in early October. That same month, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide whether it will hear arguments on Prop 8.