When selecting an archbishop, the Vatican usually gets a short list of three names for recommendations. The pope does not have to pick from that list. In this case, ABC7 was told by a source that Pope Benedict decided to override the process, and hand-picked Cordileone.
The 56-year-old will move across the bay to San Francisco from Oakland, where he served as bishop since 2009. On Friday he made no effort to hide his support for Proposition 8, California's same-sex marriage ban, "We need to do whatever we can to strengthen marriage, understanding that it is a benefit for everyone in society."
In fact, Cordileone is said to be one of the leading architects in the campaign to pass Prop. 8. He says that he believes a child is better off with a father and mother, "That tells me both are important, not just to manufacture the baby, but they're both important in the life of that child. The child needs the influence of the father, that only a man can give as a father. And the influence of a mother, that only a woman can give as a mother. Without that, something is missing that the child needs."
But Tanya Friedman disagrees. She and her partner have a daughter named Zora, "I think every child deserves loving parents and we all know that doesn't have to do with the sex of those parents but has to do with their ability to love and care for a child."
Jim Lonergan is a 32-year parishioner of Most Holy Redeemer Church in San Francisco's Castro District. When asked if he believes the new archbishop will drive people away, he answered, "I hope not. My own particular faith journey is what it is."
The 56-year-old San Diego native also said there are many challenges ahead, but vowed to work hard to bring parishioners together.
Today Cordileone also addressed the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests which he called shameful, "We have also had firm resolve in addressing the problem. We have made a lot of progress in doing so."
Cordileone will oversee bishops in several dioceses including Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Honolulu, Sacramento, and Reno. He will be ordained in October. Cordileone also has ties to the Bay Area, his father was born in San Francisco.
Archbishop George Niederauer, 76, is retiring after serving as archbishop of San Francisco since December 2005. He has had health problems in the past. Most recently he experienced chest pains and had a double bypass operation.