Archbishop Gomez urges prayer as Cardinal Mahony heads to Rome to select pope

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Cardinal Roger Mahony's successor Jose Gomez is urging priests to pray for the former Roman Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles as he prepares to go to Rome to help select the next pope.

Just days before the trip, Mahony will be questioned under oath as part of a clergy abuse lawsuit. Mahony will be deposed Feb. 23 about how he handled a visiting Mexican priest who police believe molested 26 children in the Los Angeles archdiocese in 1987.

Court papers claim church officials warned the priest that parents had complained about abuse but then waited two days to call police — allowing him to flee to Mexico.

In a letter Friday, Mahony's successor, Archbishop Jose Gomez, said he's confident Mahony's accomplishments and experience will serve him well in helping select a new pontiff.

Gomez had publicly rebuked Mahony in the past.

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