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Cardinals impose media blackout

Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

VATICAN CITY – In the end, American-style transparency was no match for the Vatican’s obsession with secrecy. Cardinals attending closed-door discussions ahead of the conclave to elect the next pope imposed a media blackout Wednesday, forcing the cancellation of the popular daily press briefings by U.S. cardinals that had provided crucial insights into the deliberations.

The official reason for the blackout was that some details of the secret discussions about the problems in the church appeared in the Italian newspaper La Stampa. But speculation mounted the underlying aim of the blackout was to silence the Americans, who have been vocal in their calls for disclosure about allegations of corruption and dysfunction in the Holy See’s governance before they enter the conclave to elect a successor to Benedict XVI.

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