Vatican insists all cardinals must attend Conclave- even Danneels,Brady, Mahony and Rigali

The Vatican said Friday that the presence of the cardinals in the conclave to elect the new pope is an absolute requirement, while many of them criticized in pedophilia scandals are pressed by victims' associations not to go to Rome.

Father Federico Lombardi, spokesman of the Holy See- "It is a duty, a ministry given to cardinals. Under no circumstances can it be waived," said Father Federico Lombardi, spokesman of the Holy See at a press briefing.

In several countries, the United States, Belgium and Ireland, associations of former victims of pedophile priests are pushing for some cardinals to be prevented by their church to go to Rome.

Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles is particularly in the crosshairs, after he was relieved of his duties last month for protecting in the past priests accused of sexual abuse.
But the former Archbishop of Philadelphia Justin Francis Rigali, Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels and Irish Cardinal Sean Brady are also on trial.

In principle, the electoral college is composed of 117 cardinals under the age of 80 years. But more could be absent for health reasons. "The acceptance of reasons for absence depends on the congregation of cardinals meeting prior to the conclave, after the resignation of the pope, said Father Lombardi.

Asked about the predictable absence of Julius Riyadi Darmaatmadja, Archbishop Emeritus of Jakarta, the spokesman acknowledged that a cardinal would probably be absent "for health reasons", these generally being considered valid.

According to the Italian magazine Panorama, another Cardinal Antonius Naguib Egyptian could also be absent for health reasons.