Media Blackout at the Vatican

According to Washington Post reporter Jason Horowitz, Catholic cardinals have decided to refrain from conducing interviews with reporters. Vatican spokesman Tom Rosica was reported as saying that, “they realize the importance of keeping things to themselves,” when it comes to their proceedings before the coming conclave.

Before this announcement some of the American cardinals have conducted interviews describing their criteria for choosing the next pope. This may be one of many the reason for imposing a no interview policy.

Mr Horowitz had this to say about motivations of the media blackout:

“According to Vatican officials and experts, the media blackout might be more than a crackdown in reaction to the leak. It could also have a political dimension. One Vatican official speaking on background said that Italian cardinals, some of whom stand to benefit most from a quick conclave, had expressed misgivings about the American news conferences, during which U.S. prelates articulated what they were looking for in a pope. They often described criteria that did not match the characteristics of cardinals in the curia. The American cardinals also repeatedly said they wanted more time to listen to their colleagues and get to know one another, a position that Vatican experts said diminished the chances and power of better-known Roman officials, many of them Italian, who would gain from a speedier process.”

Read Mr Horowitz article Cardinal College Imposes Media Blackout.

It is important to note that both John Paul II and Benedict XVI were very conservative popes. Many of the cardinals who will be voting in the conclave were chosen by these men. Expect the next pope to be conservative, if not more conservative than his predecessors. In addition, the Vatican has an unhealed wound from the VatiLeaks scandal. Most assuredly, the cardinals will select a pope who can prevent such future scandals and rejuvenate faith in the tarnished Catholic image.

“In conclaves, as in comedy, timing is everything. And it has itself been a point of contention,” wrote Mr Horowitz. Mr. Horowitz is absolutely correct. The timing of the conclave will be a good indicator of what kind of man will arise as the next. If the conclave is not delayed, expect a conservative man who will lead the Catholic Church in its greatest revival to become pope. If the conclave is delayed, it is still likely that the new pope will reflect the conservative views of John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

The world may be waiting for a more liberal pope to come to power, but this is highly unlikely given the circumstances. The approach of Easter can easily be used to justify a speedy conclave.

Watch the Vatican. The College of Cardinals are likely to begin the conclave despite the absence of two members and the objections of some American cardinals.

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