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Removed cardinal to vote on new pope

Feb. 12, 2013 at 8:26 AM
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LOS ANGELES, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- A Los Angeles cardinal removed over charges of concealing priest molestations will be able to vote on a successor to Pope Benedict XVI, a church spokesman said.

Cardinal Roger Mahony, who left public duties nearly two weeks ago, is one of 117 cardinals less than 80 years of age eligible to vote, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Despite his removal, a church spokesman said Mahony remains a priest "in good standing" and maintains all his powers as a cardinal.

"It is a sacred responsibility of every cardinal of the church who is able to attend the conclave to vote," archdiocesean spokesman Tod Tamberg said.

Mahony was removed from all public duties amid revelations he plotted to conceal child molestations by priests from law enforcement.

Mahony's participation in selecting a new pope has drawn mixed reactions among Catholics in Southern California.

A retired police officer who was abused while serving as an altar boy said "Mahony is going without clean hands."

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