In an interview with “KQED Newsroom” Friday, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone talked about sports, gay marriage and the power of Pope Francis, who last week was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

Cordileone had a rough landing in famously liberal San Francisco when Pope Benedict XVI named him archbishop last year. As a leading supporter of Prop. 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California until the Supreme Court threw it out, Cordileone’s appointment generated anger and concern in the LGBT community.

In 2008, when Cordileone was still a bishop in San Diego, he helped organize efforts to get Prop. 8 on the California ballot and he personally contributed at least $6,000, according to state campaign finance records.

In our discussion, Archbishop Cordileone said he’s been reaching out in hopes of “getting to know gay Catholics,” joining parishioners for meals at Most Holy Redeemer Church in the Castro.

“When we don’t interact with each other, we can make decisions or get images based on stereotypes – that happens on both sides,” the archbishop said.

When asked what he’s learned from those interactions, Cordileone said he’s come to understand how gay people have “suffered.”newsroom-115x65

“They’ve been disowned by their families,” he said. “They’ve been harmed and they want to come to a place that will accept them for who they are. And affirm them. So it tenderizes us.”

And yet, Archbishop Cordileone still chairs the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage. Just last month in that capacity, he responded to the passage of same-sex marriage legislation in Hawaii, saying, “The decision in Hawaii is disappointing and shows the need for rebuilding a culture of the family in our country,” adding that “changing the meaning of marriage in the law does not promote the common good or protect authentic rights.” So clearly, the archbishop’s views have not changed, even if his rhetoric is softer.

During our interview, Cordileone, a big supporter of the DREAM Act, also explained why immigration reform was so important to him and his flock.

“Immigration is sort of a metaphor for who we understand ourselves to be spiritually,” Cordileone said. “We as believers are not at home here. We’re on a pilgrimage.

“We’re kind of immigrants,” he added, looking up toward the ceiling, “trying to immigrate to our homeland of heaven.”

While Cordileone seemed a bit uneasy discussing the pope’s comments about homosexuality (“Who am I to judge?”), he warmed up when asked how a San Diego native could root for the San Francisco Giants over his hometown Padres, especially given their name and mascot (the Swinging Friar).

“I love watching the Giants,” Cordileone said, adding he’s also a big 49ers fan. “I was so happy to get to the Stick before it closes,” he said, adding he’d heard rumors from someone high in the 49ers organization that Pope Francis was invited to appear at Candlestick before it’s demolished.

Now that would be a hot ticket.

KQED NEWSROOM is a weekly news magazine program on television, radio and online. Watch Fridays at 8 p.m. on KQED Public Television 9, listen on Sundays at 6 p.m. on KQED Public Radio 88.5 FM and watch on demand here.

  • Ohso

    Dear Bishop Cordileone

    The CCD story about your KQED Interview and being “Tenderized” by stories of
    “Suffering” – presented at Holy Redeemer Church (where my parents were Married)
    – failed to mention that this Church was the one Spray Painted with Swastikas
    and Slurs Against the Pope by the local Gaystapo during their attack on

    Hence I ask you provide Time & Place to Also hear from those of us Catholics
    Targeted by this Gaystapo – who have been Stalked, Hounded, and Retaliated
    against in many ways (including destruction of Career & future employment)
    for supporting the common sense Teachings of the Church?

    While the Pathological Behaviors being pushed are ‘too icky’ for many to discuss,
    although the consequences of said behaviors and their associated diseases have
    vectored from Frisco for decades now – I submit it is Time to Openly and
    Clearly Address them.

    Using Gastapo Propaganda terms (like abusing the Happy Word ‘Gay’) Confuse the Issue with tenderized / sanitized and misleading euphemisms for Bad Behaviors.

    Those properly opposed to Pandering to such agendas will continue to be defamed and demonized – At least by those seeking to Destroy the Church Teachings on Sex
    and Gender, who will twyst anything (including your words) to harm us.

    The Annual Tax Subsidized Anti-Male Hate Riot / ‘SF Dyke March’ starts at Mission

    –Spreading MISANDRY (Separatist / Neo-Exterminationist Hatred of Men & Boys,
    Masculinity and Normal Heterosexuality) under the pretense of such ‘tolerance’

    “Women Rule the World… Create A WORLD DEVOID OF MEN”

    SEE Also
    Leading California gay rights leader arrested over child porn possession

    Brinkin is revered in the Pederast / Homosex
    movement in Frisco (like ‘beat poet’ Allen Ginsberg & Harry Hay) and he was
    earning $135,000 per year at the Human Rights Commission there until his
    retirement in 2010.

    The San Francisco board of supervisors established a “Larry Brinkin Week” in February 2010 in his honour. Brinkin is “married” to another man and is a respected member of the community…

    “Men told not to rain on parade Unity key to Dyke March 50,000 expected at S.F. Dyke March 50,000 expected — MEN NOT ADVISED f=/c/a/2004/06/26/MNGKN7CPOL1.DTL&ao=all#ixzz1lGQtPmKS ;

    “A few simple rules are expected to attract more than 50,000 participants to
    today’s 12th annual Dyke March through San Francisco: no corporate sponsors, no
    politicians, No Permit to march and NO MEN.”

    • lit per

      Please crawl back to your cave! Mentally ill people like you are what turns people awwy from churches!

      • LA VERDAD

        People like you have no place here, your offensive rant only shows your lack of education and respect for other’s opinions !!!


      I completely agree, let’s wait and see what the “Bishop” has to say about your request, although based on what those “Catholics” of the Novus Ordo Church believe now I doubt they are even willing to hear your request.


Scott Shafer

Scott Shafer migrated to KQED in 1998 after extended stints in politics and government to host The California  Report. Now he covers those things and more as senior editor for KQED's Politics and Government Desk. When he's not asking questions you'll often find him in a pool playing water polo. Find him on Twitter @scottshafer

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor