Friday, 22 February 2013

Nonsense Not Restricted To The Mainstream Media...

At the time of the last Conclave, I was teaching RE (among other things) in a Catholic school. With all the media interest, and the sheer novelty of the event for most people, I was determined to make sure that I got my facts straight. I had great fun discussing the whole process with each of my classes, and I was almost disappointed when things finished so quickly!

Now, I don't for one instant claim that this makes me an expert. But it does give me a good general grasp on how the whole setup is supposed to work.

Which is why I found this little piece in Vatican Insider so very odd.

After all, doesn't the name suggest that the reporters will actually know what goes on in the Vatican? And, even though Conclaves don't happen all that frequently, this will be the fourth in 35 years... and the last one happened only 8 years ago (amid considerable media interest!)

So why on earth are they suggesting that some Cardinals might tweet from the Conclave?

I can understand that PaddyPower has allowed bets that a Cardinal will tweet (currently 8/1 odds), but then they are allowing people to put money on Richard Dawkins for Pope. But I did expect Catholic sources to be better informed.

The Cardinals swear an oath just before all unauthorised persons leave the Sistine Chapel. In particular,
"...We promise and swear to observe with the greatest fidelity and with all persons, clerical or lay, secrecy regarding everything that in any way relates to the election of the Roman Pontiff and regarding what occurs in the place of the election, directly or indirectly related to the results of the voting; we promise and swear not to break this secret in any way, either during or after the election of the new Pontiff, unless explicit authorisation is granted by the same Pontiff."
The Camerlengo and three assistants act as vigilanti, checking for bugs and other electronic devices, and all communication with the outside world is forbidden - no papers, publications of any kind, news bulletins (audio or video) - and, although Twitter isn't mentioned specifically, I'm pretty sure that it's covered in the news bulletin category...

Unfortunately, it would appear that even some Cardinals haven't quite figured out the procedure. Assuming that his account hasn't been hacked, Cardinal Mahony was unwise enough to advertise his intentions...


He might benefit from reading this handy little guide to the Conclave from the CTS which can be downloaded free...

7 comments:

Zephyrinus said...

Paddy Power (the bookmakers) are quoting
Richard Dawkins at 666-1.

Worth putting £10,000 on.

If it comes up, HEY PRESTO.

One new Minor Basilica for Blacken.

Mac McLernon said...

If it comes up, then there is no God, and I'm going to spend the money on having one heck of a party...

Mari Kate said...

To Tweet or Not To Tweet...Ahhh this is the question: no, if your are a Cardinal in the conclave, yes, if you wish that you were. Since it is Lent and in the the spirit of kindness I will not comment on my former Cardinal's alleged tweet to tweet while in the conclave though the temptation is very great indeed.

incaelo said...

I still presume that Cardinal Mahoney intended to say that he will be tweeting every day that he is not actually in conclave. Plenty of time before they lock them in. He was there in 2005, so I have a hard time believing that he, or any other cardinal for that matter, would think to be able to tweet the voting.

Genty said...

Ah, yes, the integrity of silence, not understood by one English-speaking Cardinal who let slip last time around "We didn't vote for him".
Mind you, the thought of some cardinals with form allowed to vote is rather chilling. Let's hope the Holy Spirit is working full throttle in the Conclave.

Supertradmum said...

It was already decided by the Vatican last week not to allow tweets from the Conclave, so if any dumb journalist states otherwise, he is missing the feeds. Here is the note from last week.

May I add that if Mahoney wants to tweet, he may give an illness as an excuse not to go in and stay out....which may be a good idea.

Feb. 15, 2013
Conclave to silence at least nine tweeting cardinals
Parrots may squawk in the Vatican Gardens during a conclave, but the cardinals are not allowed to tweet.

Katie said...

Dear Mac,
About Vatican Insider and La Stampa which runs the website. They are a well respected newspaper in Italy but/and linked to the anti-clerical side of Italian politics. So: French Revolution, rationalists, free-thinkers from Piemonte, but also savvy enough to know that it is not easy, and perhaps not desirable, to try to demolish the Catholic soul of Italians. How the Vatican Insider site got started at La Stampa I don’t know. Since the Stampa people have to live in Italy where many people are interested in the Church, Vatican Insider can't invent things but it seems to me that they support a subtly Tabletista (type) agenda. Anything that weakens the Church and especially the Papacy seems to be of interest. Hence VI’s attention to the former Archbishop of Canterbury, the benefits of Anglicanism and their lack of interest in the Ordinariates. VI does have genuinely Catholic journos writing for the site (e.g. Tornielli somewhat liberal; Rodari more Benedictine). It’s a mixed bag. Compared to the Italian-language press on the Church, VI is not a trend setter but a trend spotter. As a website about the Church I find it a bit like my cat’s interest in mice: he has no intention of running them out of town or eating up all the mice but he doesn’t love them and will pick them off one at a time. My cat is not in the business of mouse happiness.

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