Cut out the press conferences, Eminences!

Today it was announced that the Press Conferences being given at the Pontifical North American College (NAC) in Rome would no longer happen. Several of our Cardinals had already taken part in these daily events, and I believe that Cardinals Dolan and George were scheduled for today.

If you listened to or read the reports of the prior conferences given by the Americans, it was obvious that they were going to great length to assure that they did not violate the confidentiality of the General Congregations. Nearly all of what they said could be found in the official communiques of the Vatican Press Office.

These press conferences were a topic in the communique of today from the Vatican Press Office. As a result, all members of the College of Cardinals have made sort of a gentleman’s agreement to not speak to the press anymore.

To take this as an attack on the American Cardinals may not be completely right. According to informed sources, what really happened was that a couple of Italian Cardinals gave interviews in which they actually may have violated the secrecy of the Congregations of Cardinals! Apparently they were called out by name and warned about the oath of secrecy. It was at this point that our American Cardinals decided not to engaged the media any further during these days. They abruptly cancelled the press conference scheduled for Wednesday at the NAC.

Having lived in Rome for years, I think it only fair to note that the Italian Cardinals were probably acting under the rule of the “Italian Secret.” This widely-accepted rule of thumb in Italy is that you may only divulge the secret to your 100 closest friends, and they in turn to their 100 closest friends, etc! And so it goes.

There will be two General Congregations tomorrow, and by that time all of the Cardinal electors will be present. If I were a betting man, I would bet that the date for the start of the Conclave will be announced tomorrow evening Rome time.

That’s it for now, folks!

The Concho Padre

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