Pope Benedict XVI has named Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone to be the new Archbishop of San Francisco. The 56-year-old cleric, who has been Bishop of Oakland since 2009, is the chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage, which is fighting the legalization of same-sex marriage. He is also one of the strongest supporters of Proposition 8, the 2008 California Marriage Protection Act, which seeks to bar same-sex marriage.
In other words, by appointing Cordileone to be the Archbishop of San Francisco, a city that has long had a large and significant gay population and that has long been associated with LGBT rights, the bishops may be said to be laying down the gauntlet.
Cordileone has been called nothing less than the “father of Proposition 8.” “Only one idea of marriage can stand…If that’s going to be considered bigoted, we’re going to see our rights being taken away–as is already happening,” Cordileone said in a 2009 San Francisco Chronicle interview.
Cordileone has also called same-sex marriage a plot created by “the Evil One” to destroy morality in the world, in a 2008 interview with the Catholic Radio Network.
Given all of the above, you won’t be surprised to learn that the Archbishop-elect is a theological conservative in other ways. He is obviously, opposed to abortion. He is also one of only 17 bishops, and the only one from California, to sign the Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience, which opposes abortion, same-sex marriage and assisted suicide and what signers says are infringements on their religious freedom.
Cordileone also supports the use of a pre-1962, neo-traditionalist form of the Roman liturgy, the “extraordinary form of the Roman rite,” also known as the Tridentine Mass or the traditional Latin Mass. After the Second Vatican Council, the liturgy was significantly revised, with one major change being that it could be celebrated in the vernacular rather than in Latin. Cordileone’s support for the Tridentine Mass is a further indication that the War on Woman, not to mention the culture wars within the Catholic Church, will be not be ending any time soon.
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