Oct 5, 2012
The Vatican announced last July that Pope Benedict XVI had selected Salvatore Cordileone, 56, as the new Archbishop of San Francisco.
Salvatore Cordileone has been the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.
"Marriage can only come about through the embrace of a man and a woman coming together," said the new Archbishop of San Francisco, who assumed his new duties on October 4, 2012.
Gay rights groups are furious at the Pope's choice of Rev. Cordileone to lead the San Francisco Archdiocese, which serves a half-million California Catholics.
"The appointment of Bishop Cordileone sends a chilling message that, in the eyes of the hierarchy, same-sex relationships are not worthy of equal dignity and respect," declared Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin.
Back in 2008, when he was an auxiliary bishop in San Diego, Salvatore Cordileone promoted an initiative to stop same-sex couples from marrying in California, then he raised Catholic funding to qualify Proposition 8 for the ballot.
California voters ultimately passed Proposition 8 at the ballot box.
Ever since, many LGBT activists have refused to accept the will of The People of California, who specifically voted for a statewide ban on same-sex marriage.
The formal installation ceremony of Archbishop Salvatore Joseph Cordileone took place at St. Mary's Cathedral on October 4 before an audience of more than 2,000 invited guests.
As Cordileone spoke during his installation mass, a crowd of loud, angry gay rights advocates gathered outside St. Mary's Cathedral to protest his induction.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a troupe of men dressed in nuns' habits, protested the "dogma of bullying" they said the gay marriage ban represents, while screaming "You have no power here!"
Pope Benedict XVI, who selected Cordileone to be Archbishop, has denounced the "powerful gay marriage lobby" in America. The pope told bishops to not back down in the face of "powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage."
The war has begun in San Francisco, California, the city which is now ground-zero for both the gay marriage movement and the church's opposition to it.