Well, it looks like the Cardinals have made a group decision to avoid talking to the media before the conclave. I'm of rather mixed mind about this. While I whole-heartedly agree with the idea that the Cardinals should not be unduly influenced or pressured to move toward any particular candidate, I would hope that these are people who have learned to know their own mind by now, and that the media isn't particularly a danger to their thinking. More importantly and realistically, though, it's in talking with the media during the novemdiales
--these nine days of official mourning before the conclave--that really can let the Cardinals learn something about each other
. This is too big a group for everyone to have a clear sense of who everyone else is. I wouldn't want to see crass campaigning, but it is otherwise an opportunity to make people and possibilities known.
Below, I excerpt the Reuters story talking about the Cardinals' apparent decision to not talk to the media, and then reproduce two interviews--with Cardinals Cormac Murphy-O'Connor of London, and Godfried Danneels of Brussels--of fellows who were quick enough to talk before this decision. Curiously, Danneels denied there was any intent by the Cardinals to cut off communication: he seems a pretty straightforward guy, so it looks like he was out of the loop on this one. Edit: I just tossed in a more complete story to kick things off than the one I had originally.( Collapse )