U.S. cardinal, former head of Vatican’s doctrine-enforcing arm, is charged with drunk-driving
By Michelle Boorstein August 25
One of the Catholic Church’s most senior U.S. leaders, who recently led the Vatican’s doctrine-enforcing arm, was arrested and charged with drunk driving after police said his car was swerving around midnight on a Hawaii highway.
Cardinal William Levada, 79, was stopped late Thursday in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Monday. Levada, who was archbishop of San Francisco from 1995 to 2005, was charged with driving under the influence and released from custody after posting $500 bail, the Tribune-Herald reported.
A message left Tuesday morning with the archdiocese of San Francisco was not immediately returned, but the Tribune-Herald said the archdiocese had issued this statement: “I regret my error in judgment. I intend to continue fully cooperate with the authorities.”
From May 2005 until 2012 the California native was the prefect, or head, of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which was created in the 1500s to defend Catholicism from heresy. Today, according to the Vatican’s Web site, its role is to “promote and safeguard the doctrine on the faith and morals throughout the Catholic world.” Levada was appointed to the position by Pope Benedict XVI.
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