Bishop arrested for driving under influence apologizes for 'error'

Bishop Robert J. McManus of Worcester, Mass., in November. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Worcester, Mass. — Bishop Robert J. McManus of Worcester pleaded not guilty Tuesday at a Wakefield, R.I., courthouse to charges of drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

According to The Boston Globe, the bishop was released on personal recognizance after his attorney, Bill Murphy, told 4th Division District Court Judge Walter Gorman that the bishop waived his right to an extradition hearing. McManus is due back in court May 28.

The bishop was arrested Saturday in Narragansett, R.I., after allegedly being involved in a collision and driving away from the scene.

McManus, a Rhode Island native, shares a family home with his siblings in Narragansett.

In a statement Monday, the bishop said he made a "terrible error of judgment by driving after having consumed alcohol with dinner. There is no excuse for the mistake I made, only a commitment to make amends and accept the consequences of my action."

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He also asked for forgiveness from the people he serves and family and friends in the dioceses of Worcester and Providence, R.I.

McManus, 61, has been bishop of the Worcester diocese since 2004. He previously served for five years as an auxiliary bishop in Providence.

Last year, he was in the news for objecting to an invitation to Victoria Reggie Kennedy, widow of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., to speak at the commencement ceremonies at Anna Maria College in Paxton, which is part of the Worcester diocese.

The Catholic college retracted its invitation to Kennedy and asked the bishop not to attend the ceremony, saying his presence would be a "distraction."

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