Rigali, not Chaput, gets a pope vote

Archbishop Charles Chaput (left) is in charge of Philly's Archdiocese, but his predecessor, Cardinal Justin Rigali (bottom), gets to vote for the new pope.
Archbishop Charles Chaput (left) is in charge of Philly's Archdiocese, but his predecessor, Cardinal Justin Rigali (bottom), gets to vote for the new pope.
Posted: February 13, 2013

PHILADELPHIA'S Catholic archbishop, Charles Chaput, will have no say in electing the next pope.

But his retired predecessor, Cardinal Justin Rigali, will.

Such is the convoluted world of papal politics, arguably the world's most exclusive big-ticket election, with just 118 members of the College of Cardinals eligible to vote.

Going back nearly a century, each of Chaput's five predecessors as head of the Philadelphia Archdiocese was eventually named a cardinal - although not always at the time of a papal election. The last time that an active Philadelphia cleric didn't vote was when Pope Paul VI was tapped in 1963.

But the city's top Roman Catholic has certainly wielded clout in the past - most notably in 1978, when longtime Cardinal John Krol promoted the selection of his friend, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, of Poland, as Pope John Paul II.

Besides Rigali, there are three U.S. cardinals with Pennsylvania ties, all from the Pittsburgh area. They are Cardinals Donald Wuerl, of Washington; Daniel DiNardo, of Houston; and Sean O'Malley, of Boston.

- Will Bunch

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