Mahony says Vatican told him to attend conclave

March 11, 2013

Cardinal Roger Mahony expressed “amazement” at calls that he withdraw from the upcoming papal conclave because of his record on clergy sex abuse.

The Vatican, acting through its ambassador to the United States, had instructed him to take part in the election of the next pope, Mahony said.

“I’m here because the Holy Father appointed me a cardinal in 1991, and the primary job of a cardinal, the No. 1 job, is actually the election of a new pope should a vacancy occur.”

Advocates for sex-abuse victims have urged Mahony, 77, to abstain from voting in the election of a successor to Pope Benedict XVI because of evidence that he mishandled cases of pedophile priests during his time as archbishop of Los Angeles.