Headlines falsely claim that Mahony has been “banished” or “punished” or “outed.” That’s baloney. Listen to what knowledgeable Catholic staffers and journalists are saying about this.
From long time Mahony public relations flak Tod Tamberg:
“(Tamberg) said that beyond canceling his confirmation schedule, Mahony's day-to-day life as a retired priest would be largely unchanged. He resides at a North Hollywood parish, and Tamberg said he would remain a ‘priest in good standing.’ He can continue to celebrate Mass and will be eligible to vote for pope until he turns 80 two years from now, Tamberg said."
From noted Catholic blogger Rocco Palmo:
"While a sitting archbishop may make any request he wishes on the extent of his cardinal-predecessor's role and public presence, it technically has no bearing on anything whatsoever. By the provisions of canon law, the universal faculties granted every member of the College, or any limitation of them in specific instances, rest solely within the competence of the Holy See. Ergo, barring an explicit papal move restricting his de iure perks, Mahony retains his seat in a Conclave to elect the next Pope until his 80th birthday in 2016, and all the other prerogatives that come with the "red hat" for life.
Likewise, Curry's departure as regional bishop for Santa Barbara has no legal impact on his standing in active ministry – only the 70 year-old prelate's resignation submitted to Rome, and its acceptance by the Pope, can officially end his ministry as an auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles."
From Catholic blogger David Gibson:
Catholic journalist Jerry Filteau of the National Catholic Reporter also noted that the church’s Code of Canon Law gives cardinals a privileged position and even says that they are “exempt from the power of governance of the bishop of the diocese in which they are residing.”
“While that law does not clearly exempt cardinals from all decisions on local ecclesiastical activity, it sets an unusually high bar against banning a cardinal from engaging in church activities in the diocese where he resides,” Filteau wrote.
From long time Vatican public relations man Fr. Federico_Lombardi:
“(Lombardi) also noted that the suspension does not affect the ‘other duties assigned by the pope to Cardinal Mahony in the Curia.’”