Probably not even if his gold sequined frock depended on it. The 56 year old gay-bashing political cleric, and self proclaimed warrior against gay marriage, will be installed in San Francisco as the most prominent Catholic Hierarchy figure in California, on October 4th, 2012. As several well populated Catholic Dioceses merge in California, Nevada, and Hawaii – the kingdom, the power, and the glory shall be Sals, amen.
It is obviously not the best time for the Bishop to admit if he is a closeted gay cleric. It is additionally said to be obvious by many activists in the gay districts of the City, the words of William Shakespeare that proclaim the now altered phrase: “He doth protest too much”. Cordileone has been extremely vocal in his stance against gay equality in marriage, and he is the official key mouthpiece for the Catholic church in its rally opposing the LGBT community.
“Bishop Sally”, as he has been nicknamed by some in the gay community of San Francisco, will also supervise the Dioceses of Oakland, Marin, San Jose, Santa Rosa, Stockton, Sacramento, Reno, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Hawaii.
That’s a lot of power to bestow on a man who was caught cruising while drunk in the San Diego college district on Saturday August 25th, shortly after midnight. The Bishop was driving with his 88 year old mother, and his “male friend”. When stopped at a sobriety check point by officer Mike McCullough, the illustrious Bishop blew over the legal limit, and was arrested. The Bishop has admitted the incident, and has offered the usual professionally orchestrated public apology used by other clerical figures who have been busted for similar shameful deeds.
But apparently the more press-worthy suspicious details concerning the incident may have already been divinely cleansed by the damage control division of the Vatican. The sacrificial lamb may very well have shed its wool – to pull over the eyes of public scrutiny.
The original statement by the arresting officer reported that the male passenger cruising with Cordileone was “a young man”. This report was repeated by the San Diego news, and the press in San Francisco as well. What is puzzling is that the 88 year old mother of Cordileone was asked to drive the vehicle home in the wee hours of the morning, instead of the young man.
This casts suspicion on Cordileones young male companions age, as the person who would have logically been asked to drive home by the police would have been a capable young man, and not an 88 year old woman. According to officers I interviewed, even if the male companion was from another state or country, and was licensed and old enough to drive, he would have been chosen to drive the vehicle – as opposed to the octogenarian mother of the Bishop.
Adding exponentially to the suspiciousness of the incident, is the lightning quick response by the Catholic Church, (or some other invisible entity), to have all press reports that mentioned the “young male companion” retracted, and wiped clean off the internet, almost immediately. The Diocese of Oakland itself reported early on that the “young man” was a young seminarian; but changed its wording quickly to “a visiting older priest” from another country.
One has to wonder, if in fact the “male friend” was just an innocent visiting priest, then why has his identity been wiped off the radar? And why has the description of the male companion that was admitted to early on, changed so dramatically? And most importantly, the testament of an arresting officer in a drunk driving case is deemed credible; officer McCullough would have surely been accurate is his description of viewing the young male passenger, as opposed to viewing a mature older adult. There is little doubt that the officer would have been that confused.
The damage control on this incident has been so thorough, that all reports mentioning the “young male passenger” by the press have been eradicated. Google comes up empty handed when prompted for information that was first released by the press and the police concerning any mention of the young man.
Skeptics of the Catholic Churches handling of the incident proclaim that maybe the answer to the question concerning the mysterious disappearance of the mention of the “young mans” identity is that possibly the young male was gay, or under-aged – or both.
It would have been more prudent if the identity and age of the male passenger was known to the public immediately; there would have been no harm done to the man if he was merely a cleric who was traveling with a Bishop. The red flags in this case may be at a higher altitude than the Bishops golden tiara.
As a clergy abuse victims advocate myself, I think the incident is alarming. It is alarming because the Bishop was abusing his own elderly mother. He was additionally placing other innocent people in harms way, including his nameless male companion. And it is most alarming because the Roman Catholic Hierarchy has a history of concealment, secrecy, and silence; and the suspicious erasure of the male companion casts a familiar doubt on the true facts concerning the incident.
As Cordileone takes his throne this week, and continues his assault on the gay community, the reassembled words of Bill Shakespeare will surely and repetitiously continue to echo throughout the City; “The Bishop indeed doth protest too much”.