EWTN Catholic Q&A
Cardinals over 80
Question from Sam Cervantes on 04-14-2005:

Since the Cardinals over 80 cannot vote, what do they do? Do they stay in the Vatican in silence and are involved in anything related to the election of the new Pope?

Answer by Matthew Bunson on 04-14-2005:

The older senior Cardinals who are ineligible vote are permitted to take part in the General Congregations (or meetings) of the College of Cardinals as preparations are made for the conclave. Their advice is sought and they are permitted to contribute (as I understand the laws governing the process). When the conclave begins, they are not permitted to take part or to vote. They remain, however, in the Vatican and await the election of the new pope. They also take part in the installation of the new pontiff.