The Vatican today named Salvatore Cordileone, one of the creators of California's notorious Proposition 8, archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco, a jurisdiction that spans from Hawaii to Salt Lake City, Utah. Cordileone, bishop of the Oakland Diocese since 2009, will replace the retiring Archbishop George Niederauer.
Before taking over in Oakland, Cordileone spent several years as Auxiliary Bishop of San Diego, his home town. While there he helped create Prop. 8, the 2008 California ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage. In 2011, he rose to chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.
"The reality of marriage as the union of a mother and a father is grounded in our very biology," Cordileone told the National Catholic Register. " A child comes into the world by the union of a man and a woman. That's a basic biological fact that cannot be denied. There's a mother and a father for every child."
While he is most known for his stance against gay marriage, Cordileone has also gained a reputation as a scholar and, as the Express put it, "Spanish-speaking friend to the country's rising Latino population." After graduating with a philosophy degree from the University of San Diego, he received a bachelor's in Sacred Theology and then a doctorate in canon law at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University.
He spent some of his early years as a priest at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Calexico, a border town 122 miles east of San Diego, whose population is 97 percent Latino.
Cordileone will formally take the reins in October.