Worcester bishop charged with drunken driving - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Worcester bishop charged with drunken driving

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The leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester, Mass. was arrested on charges of drunken driving and refusal to submit to a chemical test.

Police said Bishop Robert McManus was arrested Saturday night after a hit-and-run accident on Boston Neck Road in Narragansett. Chief Dean Hoxsie of the Narragansett Police Department said the driver of the vehicle that was hit followed McManus and called police.

Police said McManus was arrested at his nearby vacation house in Bonnet Shores.

In a statement, the 61-year-old McManus said he drove after drinking wine at dinner. He said he has no excuse for his mistake and is ready to accept its consequences and make amends.

"I ask forgiveness from the good people whom I serve, as well as my family and friends in the Diocese of Worcester and the Diocese of Providence," McManus said as part of a statement.

He was released on a summons and is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in District Court in South Kingstown on charges of drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

McManus declined to take a blood alcohol test and faces an additional charge of refusing to submit to a chemical test, which will be heard before a traffic tribunal judge at a later time, Narragansett police said.

McManus is a Providence-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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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