3 Native Southern Californians To Help Elect New Pope

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Southern California will have a strong presence in the room when a new pope is elected to lead the Catholic Church.

Besides former Los Angeles cardinal Roger Mahony, there are two other electors who hail from the City of Angels.

“It’s quite unusual,” Monsignor Peter Nugent, the retired pastor of St. John Eudes in Chatsworth, said. “Good reason to be proud.”

Nugent attended St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo with the following three electors who will help select the new pope.

Former San Francisco Archbishop William Levada. (credit: David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

Former San Francisco Archbishop William Levada. (credit: David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

Mahoney, who oversaw the Los Angeles Archdiocese, was born in Hollywood. William Levada, once the highest-ranking American in the Catholic Church and the former archbishop of San Francisco, is from Long Beach. And Justin Rigali, the retired archbishop of Philadelphia, is from Los Angeles.

Cardinal Justin Rigali, former Archbishop of Philadelphia. (credit:  Jeff Fusco/Getty Images)

Cardinal Justin Rigali, former Archbishop of Philadelphia. (credit: Jeff Fusco/Getty Images)

They are not exactly a voting bloc in the conclave, but their presence says a lot about the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the largest in the U.S.

Sister Bernadette Reis, who works at the Paulist bookstore in Rome, is from Torrance. She says while the LA cardinals have slightly different points of view, they could still influence the other electors, just with their SoCal sensibilities.

“We’re a bit warmer,” Sister Bernadette said. “You know, it’s, I think, little bit more easier for us to get into dialogue with people simply because that’s kind of the style that we grew up with. So that’s a huge plus in their favor.”

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