US cardinal Roger Mahony, retired from church duties as part of a paedophilia scandal, cannot be banned from the conclave to elect a new pope, but could be advised to stay away, a fellow cardinal and canon law expert said in an interview on Tuesday.
"The common practise is to use persuasion. There is no more that can be done. Cardinal Mahony has the right and duty to take part," Velasio De Paolis, one of the 117 cardinal electors due to participate, told La Repubblica daily.
"This is a troubling situation but the rules must be followed," he said.
"He could be advised not to take part only through a private intervention by someone with great authority," the cardinal said, adding that ultimately "it will be up to his conscience to decide whether to take part or not".
Mahony, the former archbishop of Los An...