clear
Wednesday September 2nd, 2015 10:30PM

Americans nix conclave briefing; concern of leaks

By The Associated Press
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Vatican's penchant for secrecy has won out over American-style transparency.

The U.S. cardinals in Rome for the conclave to elect the next pope canceled their popular daily press briefings Wednesday after some details of the secret proceedings under way ahead of the election were purportedly leaked to Italian newspapers.

The Vatican denied it had exerted any pressure on the American cardinals to keep quiet. But the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, made clear that the Holy See considered this week's pre-conclave meetings, in which cardinals are discussing the problems of the church, to be secret and part of a solemn process to choose a pope.

"The College (of Cardinals) as a whole has decided to maintain a line of an increasing degree of reserve," he said.

The spokeswoman for the U.S. cardinals, Sister Mary Ann Walsh, said Wednesday's briefing was canceled after concern was expressed by other cardinals Wednesday morning "about leaks of confidential proceedings reported in Italian newspapers."

She said as a precaution, all interviews had been canceled.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Walsh said Italy's La Stampa newspaper had on Monday and Tuesday reported details of comments individual cardinals made in the closed-door meetings that were cited as a violation of their oath of secrecy. That prompted the decision to observe a media blackout.

She dismissed speculation that the Vatican and cardinals from other countries simply didn't appreciate the openness of the Americans, saying: "I don't think anyone was angry at the Americans, they were angry at La Stampa."

"In true old-style Catholic school teacher fashion, someone talks and everybody stays after school," Walsh said. She added that the Americans had been assured that the Vatican was pleased with their briefings.

Italian newspapers and international media, including The Associated Press, have reported on the unique briefings the Americans were providing, and how they contrasted with the near-silence from other cardinals and the comparatively sedate Vatican briefings.

In a press conference Tuesday, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Texas and Sean O'Malley of Boston held a lively and informative 30-minute chat with some 100 reporters and two dozen television crews from around the globe.

They revealed no details of their closed-door discussions. But they nevertheless provided journalists with insight about the process from two people actually involved.

"We're trying to help people have a greater understanding of what the process is and the procedures and background information," O'Malley told reporters. "Right now that's about all we can share with you but we're happy to try to do it."

The Americans were the only cardinals who were holding daily briefings; other individual cardinals have given occasional interviews to individual media.

Separately Wednesday, the Vatican said only one voting-age cardinal remained absent, Vietnamese Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man. Lombardi said he was expected Thursday, meaning a date for the start of the conclave could be decided then.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 1 year ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace talks
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry will try this week to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for negotiating a final peace agreement, yet cautions against raising expectations for Kerry's latest round of shuttle diplomacy.
1:35PM ( 1 year ago )
U.S. News
Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
7:04PM ( 1 year ago )
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Watchdog: 900,000 vets may have pending health care requests; many of those may be deceased
WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 900,000 military veterans have officially pending applications for health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the department's inspector general said Wednesday, but...
7:29PM ( 3 hours ago )
In Alaska wilderness, Obama stares down melting glacier to sound alarm on climate change
SEWARD, Alaska (AP) — President Barack Obama stared down a melting glacier in Alaska on Tuesday in a dramatic use of his presidential pulpit to sound the alarm on climate change.From a distance, Exit...
7:11PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Republican state Senate president asks for time to change Kentucky's marriage law
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The latest on a county clerk in Kentucky who has repeatedly refused to issue marriage licenses (all times local):6:12 p.m.The Republican president of the Kentucky state Senate ha...
6:27PM ( 4 hours ago )
US stocks rebound a day after plunging on fears about slowing growth in China
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks rebounded Wednesday, recovering a significant portion of their losses from the day earlier. Investors remain on edge after the latest market plunge, which was triggered by...
5:42PM ( 4 hours ago )
Obama seals legacy-defining Iran deal as Senate Dems gather 34 votes to stymie GOP resolution
WASHINGTON (AP) — Overcoming ferocious opposition, President Barack Obama secured a legacy-defining foreign policy victory Wednesday as Senate Democrats clinched the necessary votes to ensure the Iran...
4:38PM ( 5 hours ago )