Velasio De Paolis, an Italian cardinal and Curial official, has responded to calls for the former archbishop of Los Angeles, Roger Mahony, to decline to attend the upcoming conclave, saying, “The common practice is to use persuasion. There is no more that can be done.”
“He could be advised not to take part only through a private intervention by someone with great authority,” the curial cardinal said, adding that ultimately “it will be up to his conscience to decide whether to take part or not."
De Paolis is one of the 117 cardinal electors and president emeritus of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See. More pertinently to the issue, he is also Pontifical Delegate for the Congregation of the scandal-ridden Legionaries of Christ.
De Paolis insisted that he was not suggesting that Mahony not attend, or even that someone should try to persuade him. He told La Repubblica daily that under the laws of the Church, Cardinal Mahony “has the right and duty to take part.”