Rome

Cardinal called to skip conclave for abuse record

Former Savona bishop accused of 'systematic coverup'

Cardinal called to skip conclave for abuse record

Rome, March 11 - Activists are persisting in their call for the removal of an Italian cardinal from the conclave to elect a pope this week over allegations of covering up priest sex abuse. Francesco Zanardi, the head of victims group L'Abuso, appeared alongside the leaders of the US-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) at a hotel in Rome this weekend, accusing Cardinal Domenico Calcagno of systematically covering up cases of pedophilia at the diocese of Savona in northern Italy where he previously served as bishop. "Don't attend the conclave," said Zanardi. On Friday, police detained Zanardi for two hours when he tried to enter the Vatican to present a petition to Church officials calling for a ban on the accused cardinal at the conclave, which begins Tuesday. SNAP has issued a list of 'dirty dozen' cardinals they think should not be considered as papal contenders, including 'papabile' frontrunners such as Sean O'Malley from Boston, Peter Turkson from Ghana and Italy's Angelo Scola. The Vatican has dismissed any efforts to influence voting from outside groups. (Photo: Cardinal Domenico Calcagno)

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