A resident of St. Patrick's Seminary & University in Menlo Park, Cardinal William Joseph Levada, has been charged with drunken driving after being stopped on Aug. 20 by a police officer on a street in Kailua-Kona in Hawaii.
Cardinal Levada, 79, is out of custody after posting $500 bail and is expected in court on Sept. 24, according to the Hawaii Tribune- Herald. He was on vacation with friends, according to a church spokesman.
At the time he was pulled over by police, Cardinal Levada was alone and driving a 2015 Nissan Altima, the story said.
The seminary has not yet responded to a request for comment.
Cardinal Levada's long career with the Roman Catholic Church includes terms as archbishop of San Francisco and archbishop of Portland, Oregon. He is currently the Prefect Emeritus of the Conclave of the Faith.
He has held a position of great power within the church, succeeding Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) in May 2005 as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This office within the curia -- the Pope's cabinet -- has a mission to "promote and safeguard the doctrine on faith and morals in the whole Catholic world," according to Catholic-hierarchy.org.
The church changed the office's original name -- the Congregation for Universal Inquisition -- in 1908, and again in 1965 to its present name, according to a historical summary at the website.
Cardinal Levada, who retired in July 2012, was the first U.S. prelate to hold the Prefect position, the Tribune-Herald story said. He was also a voting member of the College of Cardinals when that body elected Pope Francis in March 2013.