The cardinals' general congregation on Monday in the Vatican's New Synod Hall
The College of Cardinals has decided that its members will no longer speak to journalists after several cardinals gave too much information to the Italian press, reports the Catholic News Agency.
“Concern was expressed in the general congregation about leaks of confidential proceedings reported in Italian newspapers,” said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops media director.
“As a precaution, the cardinals have agreed not to do interviews,” she added in a March 6 statement sent to journalists who were hoping to attend a press conference with Cardinals Francis George and Theodore McCarrick.
The American cardinals have been the only ones to organize press conferences during the general congregation phase of the Sede Vacante period.
Before the decision was made to maintain media silence, three press briefings were held at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, attracting outlets from all over the world.
However, the primary reason for the cancelation was that some Italian cardinals were divulging too much information to the Italian press. At this morning’s general meeting, the names of those who raised eyebrows were read off in front of the assembled cardinals.
Yesterday was the third day of preliminary meetings as the cardinals prepare to vote for a new Pope.
College of Cardinals imposes media silence after breach (CNA)
Cardinals agree to media blackout of pre-conclave meetings (CNS)