Cardinal Mahony gets fussed at for planning to vote. What about Cardinal Rigali? Hardly a fuss has been raised about his participation.
While I’m certainly sympathetic to the feelings and aims of child-protection and anti-mismanagement Catholics, I’m not sure much is served by these guys not serving in the conclave. From Cardinal Mahony’s blog:
That means never rationalizing what is happening in our lives, never protesting misunderstandings, and never getting angry because of false accusations.
There are wild, angry people out there making false accusations, certainly. The Catholic Right, especially, seems particularly giddy to throw one of their own under the bus and call for the garb of prison orange. But what about justified and proven assertions? What happens when another person, perhaps someone we don’t like or don’t trust, makes an accusation we know in our heart to be true?
I’ve always found it strange this recent bishop talk about going to jail for religious freedom. No bishop, however, has been willing to go to jail for mismanaging sexual predators in their clergy. The usual route is plea agreements, probation, and reduced charges. No human being is totally innocent. And some bishops often repeat the meme that we laity have lost some or all of our sense of sin. If we each are unwilling to listen to that accusation then bishops and laity have indeed entered into a dialogue of the deaf. The onus is on the bishops. They’re the ones responsible.