Conclave brings out cardinals' dirty laundry

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Associated Press

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 11:04 AM

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Popular pressure is mounting in the U.S. and Italy to keep California Cardinal Roger Mahony away from the conclave to elect the next pope because of his role shielding sexually abusive priests.

Amid the movement, a Vatican historian says there is no precedent for a cardinal staying home from a conclave because of personal scandal. Conclaves always bring out the worst in cardinals' dirty laundry and this time is no different — except that the revelations of Mahony's sins are so fresh and ordinary Catholics seem to want to have a greater say in who is fit to choose the next pope.

Earlier this month, a court in Los Angeles ordered the release of thousands of pages of confidential personnel files of more than 120 priests accused of sex abuse. The files show that Mahony and other top archdiocese officials maneuvered behind the scenes to shield accused priests and protect the church from a growing scandal while keeping parishioners in the dark.

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APPHOTO LON110: FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2008 file photo , Cardinal Roger Mahony officiates during Ash Wednesday services at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles. Popular pressure is mounting in the U.S. and Italy to keep California Cardinal Roger Mahony away from the conclave to elect the next pope because of his role shielding sexually abusive priests, a movement targeting one of the most prominent of a handful of compromised cardinals scheduled to vote next month. . (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File) (6 Feb 2008)

<<APPHOTO LON110 (02/06/08)>>

APPHOTO LON102: FILE - In this April 1, 2012 file photo, Archbishop Jose Gomez speaks during the celebration of Palm Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles. Popular pressure is mounting in the U.S. and Italy to keep California Cardinal Roger Mahony away from the conclave to elect the next pope because of his role shielding sexually abusive priests, a movement targeting one of the most prominent of a handful of compromised cardinals scheduled to vote next month.(AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File) (1 Apr 2012)

<<APPHOTO LON102 (04/01/12)>>

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