Rome: Cardinals begin media blackout

 At a meeting on Saturday, 130 Cardinals agreed to give no further interviews to the media until the election of a new Pope is announced. Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls told journalists that the Sixth General Congregation of Cardinals during the vacant see period had been held in the New Synod Hall. He said that after the opening prayer Cardinal Trujillo had expressed gratitude to all those who took part in the Pope's funeral, praised the pilgrims who had travelled so far to be there, and the authorities and people of Rome who had made them so welcome, Navarro-Valls said: "The cardinals examined certain questions concerning their entry into the 'Domus Sanctae Marthae' and the formal start of the Conclave, due to begin on Monday, April 18 at 4.30pm "The cardinals, after the funeral Mass of the Holy Father, began a more intense period of silence and prayer, in view of the conclave. They unanimously decided to avoid interviews and encounters with the media. Journalists are therefore courteously invited to abstain from asking the cardinals for interviews or any other comments. This invitation should not be seen as an attitude of discourtesy or disinterest with regards to the media - in fact the cardinals wish to thank them for the enormous interest with which they are following events in this period - but rather as a gesture of great responsibility." He said that two cardinals have been unable to attend for health reasons: Sin, archbishop emeritus of Manila, the Philippines, and Adolfo Antonio Suarez Rivera, archbishop emeritus of Monterrey, Mexico. He also said that he had received countless questions about the beatification process for John Paul II and said this was entirely up to the new Supreme Pontiff. Source: VIS

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