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Catholics fight to bar tainted Los Angeles cardinal from conclave

Published on Feb 19, 2013 2:25 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - An association of US Catholics has launched a petition to keep a retired Los Angeles cardinal mired in a paedophilia scandal from taking part in the conclave that will choose the next pope.

The group, Catholics United, is targeting Roger Mahony, who last month was relieved of all church administrative and public duties for mishandling abuse claims against dozens of priests, dating back to the 1980s.

"Cardinal Mahony: Stay Home," the online petition reads. "Your further implication in the church sex abuse scandal and being barred from public ministry in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles should be an indication to you that you should not attend the next Papal Conclave."

According to Catholics United, Archbishop Jose Gomez, who took over from Mahony in 2011, is in favour of Mahony's attending the conclave that will choose a successor to Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned unexpectedly last week.

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