Mass. diocese leader arrested for DUI in RI

Associated Press

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — The leader of a Roman Catholic Diocese in Massachusetts was arrested over the weekend on a drunken driving charge after an alleged hit-and-run accident in Rhode Island.

Worcester Bishop Robert McManus, 61, was arrested Saturday night in Narragansett, R.I.

After the accident, the driver of the other vehicle followed McManus and called police, who arrested McManus at his nearby vacation home, police said.

In a statement Monday, McManus said he "made a terrible error in judgment" by driving after drinking wine at dinner.

"There is no excuse for the mistake I made, only a commitment to make amends and accept the consequences of my action," McManus said.

He also asked for forgiveness from his friends, family and the people he serves.

McManus was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in South Kingstown, R.I., on charges of drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident. McManus declined to take a blood alcohol test and faces an additional civil charge of refusing to submit to a chemical test, which will he heard before a traffic tribunal at a later time, said Narragansett police Capt. Sean Corrigan.

McManus is a Providence, R.I., native and served as auxiliary bishop in Providence for five years, before he was installed as head of the Worcester Diocese in 2004. He's past chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Education.

A year ago, McManus pressured Anna Maria College, a Catholic school in Paxton, to rescind its invitation to U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy's widow, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, to deliver its commencement address. McManus objected to her public support for abortion rights and gay marriage, which are against church teachings. Kennedy later accepted an invitation to give the keynote address at commencement for the Boston College School of Law, a Catholic school in the Boston Archdiocese.

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