Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

9/2/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

He will make amends, offer the experience to the Lord and then, by cooperating with grace, allow it to become the material out of which he is formed more fully into the character of Christ.

He showed genuine remorse for his actions and asked forgiveness of those whom he disappointed. In an age which is truly shame-less, he admitted that he felt shame! Finally, as a man of real "nitty-gritty" faith, the kind forged in fire, he asked the Lord to pull good - even out of our mistakes. Now that's the kind of real, human, and sincere response which should come from from a mature Christian.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/2/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, DUI, The arena, mistakes, failures, character, San Francisco, San Diego, Deacon Keith Fournier


SAN DIEGO,CA (Catholic Online) - By now almost everyone who reads news online, listens to it on the radio or watches it on television has heard of the error of judgment committed by the Archbishop-elect of San Francisco, the Most Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, on Saturday, August 25, 2012.

My email was filled with comments from readers immediately after it occuured because I had written an article upon the Bishops appointment entitled Abp. Cordileone is One More Foundation Stone as Pope Benedict Fortifies the Church . I extolled the selection of this good Bishop for the formidable challenge he will soon face in providing pastoral leadership to the faithful of San Francisco and prophetic leadership in that critical area of a nation which is in such great need. 

The Bishop's defense of true marriage and his fidelity to the unbroken and unchangeable teaching of the Catholic Church are well known. His defense of the fundamental human right to life and religious liberty have been presented in some media sources as having the potential to cause some kind of disruption in San Francisco. However, for the faithful of San Francisco, his selection to succeed the retiring Archbishop George Niederauer in governing the Church of San Francisco is a source of great joy.

Though I do not personally know the Bishop, I have reliable sources - and friends - who confirm what I have read in repeated accounts. He is a warm, caring and compassionate shepherd - and a truly good man. He has demonstrated courage and integrity in his defense of the truth in an age properly characterized by Pope Benedict XVI as a dictatorship of relativism. He has withstood the headwinds of a growing hostility toward the Catholic Church and is ready to assume a critical post in this urgent hour in history. 

There is a propaganda effort to portray the Bishop - indeed all who adhere to the Jewish and Christian vision of the dignity of the human person, the primacy of true marriage and family and the necessary moral foundation of a truly free and just civil society - as "backward." Catholics are increasingly portrayed as proposing a return to some alleged "dark age".

In fact, it is the Catholic Church which leads us out of dark ages like the one we are currently in. She offers the world the path to true progress, in part, by offering great leaders in such critical times.  From all that I can discern, Bishop Salvatore Cordileone is such a great leader. 

Some of those who have written to me since the incident have asked if I have changed my mind in my assessment of this Bishop. The answer is No. Others expressed concern over what happened. Like me, they wanted to know all the facts before they formed an opinion. A few were suspicious. A few were too quick to judge. Now, the facts are out. So is the bishop's honest response:  

"While visiting in San Diego this past weekend, I had dinner at the home of some friends along with a priest friend visiting from outside the country and my mother, who lives near San Diego State University. While driving my mother home, I passed through a DUI checkpoint the police had set up near the SDSU campus before I reached her home, and was found to be over the California legal blood alcohol level."

"I apologize for my error in judgment and feel shame for the disgrace I have brought upon the Church and myself. I will repay my debt to society and I ask forgiveness from my family and my friends and co-workers at the Diocese of Oakland and the Archdiocese of San Francisco.  I pray that God, in His inscrutable wisdom, will bring some good out of this."

Not only are the Bishops comments a sign of his integrity, his mother's comment to a to San Diego's KMFB, is endearing: "We were invited to some friend's house and he loved his wine and they kept filling his glass and filling his glass. And I didn't want to seem like a bossy mother. I should've told him, 'You're drinking too much wine.'" It is all so very human.

Let's reduce this to the simple bottom line. The Bishop and his mother were having dinner at a friend's house near San Diego University with a small group. They were likely celebrating the goodness of the Lord as revealed in his selection for this new assignment. As is often the case in good, wholesome, human celebrations, wine was a part of the experience.  So far, there is absolutely nothing inappropriate which should in any way reflect upon the Bishop negatively.

His decision to drive his mother home was the error in the exercise of his judgment. He was stopped by police officers at a sobriety checkpoint near the campus. One of the officers, Mark McCullough, told the local press that the Bishop identified himself as a Catholic priest and was quite polite.  "He was a driver that was obviously impaired but he was quite cordial and polite throughout." He was booked, bonded out and the misdemeanor offense was then set for a hearing.

As a former prosecuting attorney, I know this is all standard procedure. The Bishop has no criminal record and no prior offenses. There is absolutely no indication he has any problem with alcohol. He made a mistake in judgment. No one was harmed. Now, at this point, most people would make the State prove the case and work to have it dismissed or pled down. 

Now, why do I say that the Bishop's response showed integrity? Because, it was so honest - he owned up to his error in judgment. He showed genuine remorse for his actions and asked forgiveness of those whom he disappointed. In an age which is truly shame-less, he admitted that he felt shame! Finally, as a man of real "nitty-gritty" faith, the kind forged in fire, he asked the Lord to pull good - even out of our mistakes.

Now that's the kind of real, human, and sincere response which should come from from a mature Christian. I fully expect that this incident will become a tutor for the Bishop. He will become a better person and a better leader. That is what the past is meant to do for each one of us. He will make amends, offer the experience to the Lord and then, by cooperating with grace, allow it to become the material out of which he is formed more fully into the character of Christ.

On the wall of the Martial Arts Dojo where I have studied for years there is a great quote from Theodore Roosevelt entitled "The Man in the Arena". It is excerpted from a speech he gave in France in the year 1910 entitled "Citizenship In A Republic":

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

The sentiment expresses a reality to which most of us give an assent. Its truths are demonstrated even more fully in the lives of the great saints of the Church like the one whom we celebrated on Tuesday, Augustine of Hippo. Christians have a perspective which is rooted in and transformed by the Cross. We are not perfect, but we are called to be perfected. Mistakes, failures and yes, even errors of judgment, happen to all of us. The real question is how we respond to them. The Archbishop-elect of San Francisco just gave us all a lesson. We should still stand with, pray for and learn from, Bishop Salvatore Cordileone.  

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More U.S.

Thousands of Christians Flee Under Death Threat From Tyrannical Caliph and ISIS Jihadists Watch

Image of (Pictured: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim) At first, Christians were ordered to gather in a central place to receive the directive from the self appointed Caliph. Understandably, given the track record of this maniacal tyrant, few did. So, the text of the statement was issued as a formal declaration to all Christians - We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

By now, everyone who is in anyway concerned about what is happening to Christians in Iraq has heard the horrific news. The madman who claims to be a descendant of Mohammed, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi - who in his delusion and grandiosity has taken to calling himself ... continue reading


A Tribute to Protestant Bishop Tony Palmer, Friend of Francis and Champion of Christian Unity Watch

Image of The late Bishop Tony Palmer with Pope Francis- He was catapulted into prominence in the broader Christian community when, while meeting with his friend the Pope in January, he was given a recorded message from Francis to deliver to a large group of charismatic, evangelical protestant leaders who gathered in the United States. The video went viral. It moved millions to sincere prayer for the healing of the divisions in the broken Body of Christ and is prompting a renewed commitment to common apostolic action between Christians.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I never personally met Bishop Tony Palmer. However, I look forward to spending an eternity in the full communion of God's love with him. I appreciated his Christian courage and felt that his efforts were prophetic. He wrote his life - and lived his ministry - ... continue reading


Exclusive: Tribute to Bishop Tony Palmer, A Life Dedicated to Unity Watch

Image of (Pictured: Left to Right - Dirk West, Matteo Callisi, Bishop Tony Palmer, and Deacon Darrell Wentworth) - Faith to Bishop Tony Palmer was a dynamic, lived experience and, as a result, his life built up the whole Body of Christ and tore down the walls some have built to separate us from each other! What a legacy! A true example of living Jesus' prayer in John 17! (Deacon Darrell Wentworth)

By Deacon Darrell Wentworth

Monday, July 21, 2014, was supposed to be like most Mondays - the start of a work week. But Deacon Keith Fournier sent me a text informing me that my friend, Bishop Tony Palmer, had died. Shock went through my body as I processed that news; then disbelief as I ... continue reading


Anarchy in Chicago! Weekend of crime tears city apart Watch

Image of The weekend of July 18 saw the death of five people and the wounding of 47 in Chicago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There were 47 shooting victims in Chicago this weekend, five of which ended up being fatal, statistics from the Chicago Police Department report. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chicago officials met on July 21 to discuss the city's recent surge in gun ... continue reading


The Contraceptive New York Nanny, Bill Donohue and the Catholic League Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The idea that the government is now in the business of arm-twisting women not to have more children - immediately after childbirth - is morally obnoxious and socially disturbing. It is so apt that this is happening in a city where its mayor lusts for abortion ... continue reading


Building a culture of life: Colorado clinic takes brave stand Watch

Image of Inspired to bring their mission home to Colorado, they decided to start a natural women's health clinic that would uphold the dignity of women and give them the care they deserve.

By CNA/EWTN News

A Colorado women's health clinic seeking to offer natural care that respects human dignity has drawn praise for helping to build up a culture of life. (CNA/EWTN News) - Authentic women's care "is essential to the pro-life movement," said Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, ... continue reading


When more than 80 percent of California faces extreme drought -- the spigots remain open Watch

Image of At the headquarters of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, fountains are still operating. The one change is that they turn off at mid-morning, and haven't been running full-time since the spring.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Extremely dry conditions in the state of California has 80 percent of the so-called Golden State in extreme drought conditions. Many couldn't tell the difference in many urban areas: Sprinklers go full blast on many lawns, and lots of waters goes wasted by ... continue reading


IT'S ABOUT TIME: Rick Perry deploys national guard to halt southern invasion! Watch

Image of Texas Governor Rick Perry will send 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure the southern border, in an effort to stem the flood of illegals that have crossed over throughout 2014.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In an effort to stem the influx of tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children that have been entering the United States illegally in 2014, Texas Governor Rick Perry will send 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure the southern border. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Is Mount Rainier about to blow? A new study promises to reveal clues about an upcoming eruption Watch

Image of Mount Rainier is the tallest volcano and the fifth-highest peak in the contiguous United States, towering more than 14,400 feet.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A huge magma reservoir below Mount Rainier in Washington state has been mapped by American and Norwegian researchers, which may provide subtle clues as to when the volcano will next erupt. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This huge magma reservoir was formed as ... continue reading


BUSTED: FedEx indicted on numerous counts for shipping illegal internet pharmacy drugs Watch

Image of Online pharmacies, operating beneath the radar of drug regulation, often make drugs intended for pain control and psychiatric needs available for illegal recreational purposes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Online pharmacies, operating beneath the radar of drug regulation, often make drugs intended for pain control and psychiatric needs available for illegal recreational purposes. As a result, FedEx Corp. - a trusted mail delivery system has now was indicted for ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 1:1, 4-10
1 The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:1-9
1 That same day, Jesus left the house and sat by the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 23rd, 2014 Image

St. Bridget of Sweden
July 23: Saint Birgitta was the daughter of Uppland’s Lagman, Birger ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter