An association of US Catholics has launched a petition to keep a retired Los Angeles cardinal stripped of public duties from taking part in the conclave that will choose the next pope, AFP reports in the Herald Sun.
The group, Catholics United, is targeting Cardinal 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.
Mahony was stripped of his duties by his successor, Archbishop Jose Gomez, who took over for him in 2011.
"If a Cardinal is stripped of public ministry in his diocese, why should he be rewarded with being allowed to vote for the next pope?" the group asked.
According to Catholics United, Gomez is in favor of Mahony's attending the conclave that will choose a successor to Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned unexpectedly last week.
Mahony, who is now 76, took part in the vote that chose Joseph Ratzinger as pontiff in 2005. He is theoretically still a member of the conclave made up of 117 cardinals aged under 80 who will meet behind closed doors in the Sistine Chapel until a new pope is chosen.
FULL STORY Push to block retired LA cardinal from conclave (Herald Sun)