Salvatore Cordileone, archbishop-elect of San Francisco, said in a recent interview that gay and lesbian Catholics in sexual relationships of any kind should not present themselves for the Sacrament of Holy Communion, the holiest sacrament of the Catholic church. The Los Angeles Times reports:

. . .in a recent interview at the headquarters of the Oakland diocese, where he has served as bishop for three years, Cordileone was more direct: Gays and lesbians who are in sexual relationships of any kind, he said, should not receive the sacrament of Holy Communion, the central ritual of Catholic life.

“If we misuse the gift of sexuality, we’re going to suffer the consequences,” he said, “and I firmly believe we are suffering the consequences.”

Cordileone, who was arrested last month on drunk driving charges, then elaborated, puzzlingly appearing to blame same-sex couples for the problem of absentee fathers in the inner city:

The prelate’s light-filled office overlooks Oakland’s Lake Merritt. Just beyond the graceful urban estuary, he said, are “100 blocks of inner-city neighborhoods. Those are fatherless children.”

Archbishop-elect Cordileone was appointed in July by Pope Benedict XVI to head the San Francisco Archdiocese in a move widely seen as a thumb in the eye to the LGBT civil rights movement. He assumes the new position on October 4.