California cardinal accused of drunken driving in Hawaii

SAN FRANCISCO — The former archbishop of San Francisco has been arrested in Hawaii on suspicion of drunken driving.

Cardinal William Joseph Levada of Menlo Park was stopped last week while driving on the Big Island, Hawaii County, police spokeswoman Chris Loos said. Levada was alone in the car.

He was released from jail after posting $500 bail and is due in Kona District Court on Sept. 24.

In a statement issued through the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco, the 79-year-old Levada said he regrets his error in judgment and intends to cooperate with authorities.

Levada was stopped after a Kona patrol officer saw him swerve while driving on Queen Kaahumanu Highway, authorities said.

Levada started serving as archbishop of San Francisco in 1995. Before that, he was archbishop in Portland, Oregon, for nine years.

Between May 2005 and June 2012, he served as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Pope Benedict XVI. He was one of the highest-ranking officials of the Roman Catholic Church.

Levada resigned the post in 2012.

Mike Brown, spokesman for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, confirmed the cardinal was on vacation in Hawaii with priest friends.

Levada is now Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and an Archbishop Emeritus of San Francisco. He lives on the grounds of St. Patrick Seminary south of San Francisco.

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