EWTN Catholic Q&A
Cardinal Law
Question from Bonnie Tambi on 04-11-2005:

Does Cardinal Law still have authority to be in the conclave of the other Cardinals and take part in the voting of a new Pope, even after he resigned from his position as Cardinal over 2 years ago in the USA?

If so, why would that be, and why has the Vatican allowed him to be present during Pope John Paul 2's funeral and allowed him to say Mass after the funeral too?

Many people are confused at his sudden presence and some deeply hurt.

Hopefully there is an explanation. I just can't imagine our beloved Pope John Paul 2 telling him he can be a full-fledged Cardinal after he admitted passing abusive priests around in his Archdiocese for years.

Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL on 04-12-2005:

All Cardinals resign their offices at age 75, so having resigned, for any reason, does not prevent a Cardinal from voting, unless the Pope removes the cardinalate itself. John Paul II did not do so - and only he can. At age 80 all cardinals are prevented from voting.

I can't speak for the College of Cardinals, which made the decision as to who said which Mass.