US cardinal ‘made mistakes’: Former Vatican prosecutor
VATICAN CITY (AFP) – US cardinal Roger Mahony “made mistakes” and failed to crack down on abuse but will probably attend the conclave to elect a new pope, the Vatican’s former anti-abuse prosecutor said on Wednesday.
“He is a very humble cardinal who did not manage to curtail paedophilia cases in his diocese as would have been right,” Charles Scicluna, who was in the prosecutor’s office between 1995 and 2012, told La Repubblica daily.
Scicluna said that before 2002, when US bishops promised zero tolerance against sexual abuse by priests as a wave of denunciations began to emerge, there were “no clear guidelines, especially on a diocesan level”.
“Everyone did what they could and unfortunately in some cases Mahony made mistakes,” said Scicluna, who is now auxiliary bishop of Malta, adding that he had met Mahony several times since the cardinal had come to him for advice.
He “did not manage to root out the problem of paedophilia”, Scicluna said.
Asked if Mahony would attend next the conclave where 117 cardinals from around the world are expected to choose a successor to Pope Benedict XVI, Scicluna said: “I think so, but in any case his conscience will decide what to do. This is not an easy situation for him.”
Anti-abuse campaigners and an association of US Catholics have called on Mahony not to attend the conclave, after the former archbishop of Los Angeles was relieved of all public duties last month for covering up abuse claims.