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Bishop Robert J. McManus of Worcester, Mass., in November. Photo by: CNS/Paul Haring

Massachusetts bishop pleads not guilty to DUI hit and run and asks for forgiveness - VIDEOS

\"Bishop

Bishop Robert J. McManus of Worcester, Mass., in November. Photo by: CNS/Paul Haring

Worcester Bishop Robert McManus (61) has pleaded not guilty to driving drunk in Rhode Island. The Catholic bishop arrested for hit and run accident and driving under the influence was released on bail of $1,000.

McManus was arrested in Narragansett. RI, on Saturday, having struck a vehicle and fled the scene. The other driver followed McManus and called the police. He was arrested at his vacation home.

At the time of his arrest he declined to take a blood alcohol test and faces additional charges for this, police Captain Sean Corrigan told the Boston Herald.

Speaking outside court McManus’ lawyer, the former Rhode Island House Speaker, William Murphy, told the press, “I have instructed him not to comment.” Murphy instead referred to McManus’s apologetic statement released after his arrested.

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

The police report written by Narragansett Police Officer Kevin L. O’Connor stated, “I could detect a moderate odor of alcohol emanating from his mouth as he spoke. McManus’s face was red and his eyes were severely bloodshot.

“I asked McManus what had taken place, McManus started speaking and slurring his words to the point it was difficult to understand.’’

The bishop was then arrested after he failed three field sobriety tests.

O’Connor also wrote, “McManus was still swaying and I could detect the odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from his mouth.’’

He continued, “McManus stated he had two drinks with dinner at around 7 p.m. in Providence, one was a Manhattan and the other was a glass of wine.

“McManus stated the last thing he ate was pasta and steak at around 7 p.m.’’

McManus will appear in court again on May 28. On Monday he asked for forgiveness from his friends, family and his diocese.

CBS Boston spoke to the congregation outside St. John’s Church. Rick Agbay said, “When you hear something like this it’s obviously disappointing but the other side is that we’re all human and we all need mercy and forgiveness.”

The Bishop’s housekeeper Rose Mary Bogigian reassured the diocese that they “have a fine caring bishop, who loves his diocese and cares for his people and his flock.”

McManus, a native of Providence, RI, served as auxiliary bishop in Providence for five years before being named as the head of the Worcester Diocese in 2004. He’s also the past chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Education.

Here’s the Boston Globe’s interview outside the court with Murphy and McManus

Here’s CBS Boston’s report on the case:

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