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 CNS Story:

CONCLAVE-US

U.S. cardinals are second-largest group of conclave voters

By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The 11 U.S. cardinals eligible to vote in the conclave to elect a successor to Pope John Paul II represent the second-largest voting bloc at the gathering.

Even if they do not vote as a bloc, by sheer numbers the U.S. cardinals are likely to have a big influence on who becomes the next pope.

As in past conclaves, Italians will have the largest delegation, with 20 of the 117 eligible voters. In comparison, the conclave that elected Pope John Paul II had 27 voting Italians, or 24 percent of the 111 participants.

Of the 11 U.S. cardinals, only Cardinal William W. Baum has ever voted in a conclave. Named to the College of Cardinals in 1976 when he was archbishop of Washington, he voted in the two conclaves in 1978 at which Popes John Paul I and II were elected. He is former head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, a special court that can absolve individuals from sins or censures reserved to the Holy See.

The U.S. delegation also includes Cardinals:

-- Edward M. Egan of New York.

-- Francis E. George of Chicago.

-- William H. Keeler of Baltimore.

-- Bernard F. Law, retired archbishop of Boston.

-- Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles.

-- Adam J. Maida of Detroit.

-- Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington.

-- Justin Rigali of Philadelphia.

-- J. Francis Stafford, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican court, and former archbishop of Denver.

-- Edmund C. Szoka, president of the commission that governs Vatican City State and former archbishop of Detroit.

Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, a Ukrainian-born U.S. citizen, is counted among Ukrainian cardinals. He is the major archbishop of Lviv, Ukraine, and head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

END

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