LA archbishop sends wishes to cardinal linked to abuse

February 16, 2013 02:03

LOS ANGELES - The archbishop of Los Angeles, who stripped his predecessor of duties last month over his handling of priest sex abuse cases, on Friday sent "warm wishes" as the former archbishop headed to Rome to help select a new pope amid the controversy.

Pope Benedict XVI surprised the world's Catholics on Monday by announcing plans to retire at the end of the month, and Cardinal Roger Mahony, the former archbishop of Los Angeles, declared he would take part in the process to select a successor, a move that angered victims rights groups.

The announcement by Mahony, 76, came less than two weeks after 12,000 pages of church files unsealed under court order showed that he and a top aide, Thomas Curry, worked to send priests accused of abuse out of state to shield them from law enforcement scrutiny in the 1980s.

"I am sure you will join me in extending your prayers and warm wishes for Cardinal Roger Mahony as he prepares to travel to Rome to exercise his sacred duty as Cardinal Elector of our next pope," Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez wrote in the letter.

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