The, burdened by an abuse scandal, Ex-Archbishop of Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, may in the opinion of Cardinal Velasio de Paolis attend the papal election, despite ecclesiastical sanctions.
Cardinal Roger Mahony
“According to the regulations, every Cardinal under 80 had the right and duty to appear at the Conclave”, said de Paolis, former Secretary of the Supreme Church Court of the Signature, to Italian newspaper “La Repubblica”.
The 76-year-old Mahony is under fire because of his handling of abuse cases in his time as a Diocesan director from 1985 to 2011. According to archive documents, published in January by the Archdiocese, Mahony specifically protected pädophile priests from the State prosecution. His successor Archbishop Jose Gomez called the acts “brutal and painful to read”. In an unprecedented act for the American Church, he relieved Mahony from all remaining positions and banned him from public work in Los Angeles.
Archbishop Jose Gomez
“His conscience must decide”
De Paolis said, Mahony could receive the recommendation to not participate in the conclave only by a person with the “highest authority”. By his opinion, such an initiative will not be launched by Benedict XVI. “His conscience must decide whether he will come,” said De Paolis in view Mahony.
Cardinal Velasio de Paolis
Italian media discuss whether Mahony could be detained from traveling to the Papal Elections in Rome. The Catholic magazine “Famiglia Cristiana” dedicated a comprehensive dossier in its current edition and published a survey, whether the readers are for or against an exclusion of Mahony from the conclave. The vast majority of readers who participated in the survey, called for the exclusion of US Cardinal.
It seems to me that if the Cardinal had had a working conscience that elevated the concerns of his see above the concerns of his own career, he would not be in the sorry position he now occupies. Too many good, loyal and true priests are suffering across the country are suffering along with the victims of coverups like Mahony, Dolan, Law and prelates like him. I applaud Gomez and Sean O’Malley for getting the sorry job done and I hope the next occupant of the sede in Rome backs them up instead of shutting them down.