ROME (CBSLA.com) — The College of Cardinals, who are in Vatican City to select a new pope to replace Pope Benedict XVI, cut off communication with the media on Wednesday after Italian newspapers reported on confidential pre-conclave proceedings.
KCAL9’s Suraya Fadel said journalists were originally told the U.S. cardinals would no longer provide a popular daily press briefing.
“This is a journey going on. The cardinals, as they get more into it, realize the importance of keeping things among themselves out of respect for one another,” said Vatican press secretary Fr. Thomas Rosica.
The media was later informed that they wouldn’t be able to interview all 154 cardinals.
In a statement, Sister Mary Ann Walsh, the spokeswoman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said, “Due to concerns over accounts being reported in the Italian press, which breached confidentiality, the College of Cardinals has agreed to not give interviews.”
Fadel said she was scheduled to interview retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, who led the Los Angeles Archdiocese for 25 years, before the media blackout.
She said she was instructed to only ask one question about the sexual abuse scandal despite the fact that Mahony talked candidly about the issue with a daily Italian newspaper.
“We will be talking with our local media this week. It’s just a matter of finding time,” Tod Tamberg, the LA Archdiocese spokesman, told Fadel earlier this week.