Cardinal silence in lead up to the conclave

ROME-- The College of Cardinals has imposed a media blackout in the run up to the conclave which will elect the new Pope.

Reporters have been told that no further scheduled press conferences will take place until the end of the conclave.  This announcement comes after the decision was made to cancel the daily press conferences that had been organised by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, as well as another press conference that was due to take place today at the North American College on Janiculum Hill above the Vatican.

Due to the sensitive nature of these scheduled press conferences, they were beginning to attract unwanted attention from journalists. Certainly, the election of a new Pope is seen as a private affair and therefore must be free from external influences.  As the Vatican Information Service reported in a statement, it is important to ‘safeguard the freedom of reflection’ of each member of the College of Cardinals.

It is believed that concern was expressed by the Cardinals during the General Congregation about information being leaked to Italian newspapers, risking a break in confidentiality. Consequently, all cardinals have agreed not to take part in any interviews.