By Brandon Lowrey
LOS ANGELES | Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:41am EST
(Reuters) - Roman Catholic activists on Saturday petitioned a U.S. cardinal to recuse himself from taking part in selecting a new pope so as not to insult survivors of sexual abuse by priests committed while he was archbishop of Los Angeles.
The activists delivered a petition with nearly 10,000 signatures to the North Hollywood church where Cardinal Roger Mahony resides.
"It's a total slap in the face to victims to think (Mahony) can cover up 25 years of child sex abuse and then go prancing off to Rome like a prince of the Church," said Joelle Casteix, western regional director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
As archbishop of Los Angeles from 1985 until 2011, Mahony worked to send priests known to be abusers out of state to shield them from law enforcement scrutiny in the 1980s, according to church files unsealed under a U.S. court order last month.