Vatican murmurs about Mahony’s attendance at papal conclave

(LA Times) A senior Vatican official called Cardinal Roger Mahony‘s participation in the selection of the next pope “troubling,” but said there was no formal procedure to stop the retired Los Angeles archbishop from attending the conclave next month.

The remarks by Cardinal Velasio De Paolis added to a growing murmur about the propriety of Mahony’s decision to attend the conclave. Mahony recently was rebuked by his successor, Archbishop Jose Gomez, for his handling of sexual abuse cases, although Gomez also has expressed support for Mahony’s role in the papal conclave. But several Vatican officials have appeared to raise questions about it,  without actually saying that Mahony should not take part.

As a cardinal younger than 80, Mahony is entitled to vote for the man who will succeed Pope Benedict XVI, who recently announced his retirement.

In other realms, the comments by De Paolis might be considered innocuous, but the meaning of comments from the Vatican is often found between the lines.

In an interview with the daily La Repubblica, De Paolis, the former head of the Vatican’s Prefecture for Economic Affairs and the man tasked with reforming the disgraced Legionaries of Christ, said “it will be up to [Mahony’s] conscience to decide whether to take part or not.”

“Cardinal Mahony has the right and duty to take part,” he said. “This is a troubling situation but the rules must be followed.” [more]

LA Times