Monday, March 4, 2013

Cardinal Mahony says Vatican ask him to attend Conclave


VATICAN CITY - Cardinal Roger M. Mahony expressed "amazement" at calls that he withdraw from the upcoming papal conclave because of his record on clergy sex abuse and said the Vatican, acting through its ambassador to the United States, had instructed him to take part in the election of the next pope.

"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," the cardinal told Catholic News Service Feb. 28, two days after arriving in Rome.

"Without my even having to inquire, the nuncio in Washington phoned me a week or so ago and said, 'I have had word from the highest folks in the Vatican: You are to come to Rome and you are to participate in the conclave'," the cardinal said.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, replied to a request for comment that the cardinal's statement "can be understood in light of the communique of the Secretariat of State that insisted on the importance of not giving in to external pressures that might limit the freedom of the electors and the conclave."

VATICAN CITY

Catholic News Service

By Francis X. Rocca

Catholic News Service