Skip to comments.Conclave to silence at least nine tweeting cardinals
Posted on 02/16/2013 7:00:19 AM PST by NYer
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Parrots may squawk in the Vatican Gardens during a conclave, but the cardinals are not allowed to tweet.
For most of the 117 red-vested princes of the church who are eligible to vote for a new pope, Twitter isn’t an issue at all. But the College of Cardinals does include at least nine active tweeters. From the moment they enter the Sistine Chapel to cast their ballots, they will be forbidden access to their accounts along with all other forms of communication with the outside world.
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York (@CardinalDolan) informed his almost 80,000 Twitter followers when Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation Feb. 11.
As of Feb. 15, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston (@CardinalSean) had not mentioned the pope’s resignation on his Twitter feed. In fact, the last tweet to his more than 9,200 followers was posted two days before the pope’s announcement.
After the pope’s announcement, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, (@CardRavasi) president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, almost immediately tweeted a traditional prayer in Latin: “Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, sancta Dei Genetrix” (“Under thy protection we seek refuge, O Holy Mother of God.”)
The Italian cardinal, often mentioned on pundits’ lists of possible popes, has more than 35,400 followers and tweets frequently.
Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Scherer of Sao Paulo (@DomOdiloScherer) is not a daily tweeter. But on Feb. 14 he used Twitter, with its 140-character maximum for messages, to comment, “I am impressed with the interpretations I have read of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.”
The cardinal has more than 22,700 Twitter followers.
Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan (@angeloscola), another cardinal appearing on many pope-watch lists, had not commented on the pope’s resignation to his almost 16,800 followers as of Feb. 15.
South African Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban (@CardinalNapier) has thanked his almost 3,100 Twitter followers for their promise of prayers. “Keep praying for a truly Christ-like leader,” he messaged them.
Spanish Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach of Barcelona (@sistachcardenal) told his 2,300 followers that he thanked the pope “for all he’s done for the church and the world.”
The cardinal also told them that the pope’s resignation “is an expression of his deep spirituality and great love for the church.”
Like Cardinal Dolan, Colombian Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez of Bogota (@cardenalruben) follows only Pope Benedict (@Pontifex). He used his account to say, “Holy Father, the Colombian church accompanies you with its prayer at (the time of) this honest and courageous decision.”
He then asked his nearly 2,900 followers to offer their Lenten fasting for the pope and “the future of the church.”
Cardinal Roger M. Mahony (@CardinalMahony), retired archbishop of Los Angeles, just started tweeting in January. He had more than 260 followers by Feb. 15.
When the pope resigned, he tweeted: “Am planning to be in Rome and vote for the next pope. Will be tweeting daily.”
And a few days later, he reassured his followers: “The Holy Spirit is in charge, not the media; we will be shown God’s chosen one.”
Two weeks before the pope made his announcement, the Italian Jesuit magazine Popoli and the media firm Oogo did a brief survey of eight of the cardinals’ Twitter accounts.
Cardinal Scola started tweeting in May 2009, it said. Cardinals Ravasi, Scherer and Napier began in July 2011. Cardinals O’Malley, Martinez Sistach and Dolan began in March 2012, and Cardinal Salazar just launched his account in December.
The magazine also looked at the percentage of “retweets” or messages sent out by the cardinals to their followers, then re-launched to their followers’ followers.
Cardinal Scola scored lowest with a 40 percent retweet rate, while Cardinal Dolan topped the list at 100 percent, which is the same retweet rate @Pontifex enjoys. The others have a retweet rate of between 82 percent and 90 percent, Popoli reported.
Cardinals don’t actually tweet. More of a chirp actually.
This is the first time I have ever seen the words,
Lower case ... but still a couple of remarkable words just sort'a initiated at the beginning of the article, then dropped.
I commented a week or so ago about what I thought might be a factor in the Pope's decision ... eschatology and a desire to not be part of a one-world-church.
And I also think cardinals flutter more than twitter.
They rock in the tree tops all day long
Hoppin’ and a-boppin’ and singing their song
All the little birdies on Vatican Street
Love to hear the cardinals go tweet tweet tweet
Amazingly this comment actually made me dumber.
Cardinals are NL, they don’t use designated twitters....
The rock’n latin.
I’m not sure it’s Twitter the Vatican should be concerned about.
I seem to remember (did a search for it, couldn’t find it) a story on the election of John Paul II. It seems one of the cardinals-or someone who would have known immediately upon a pope’s election-was approached by an Italian reporter and paid a sum of money to allow them to get the scoop on who was elected. As I remember, the insider was given a button transmitter that, when activated, produced a tone on a very specific frequency when pressed. They were also given a list of the eligible cardinals with a number for each one. The reporter was set up in a building not far from the Vatican with a receiver, waiting for the signal.
When Cardinal Wotyjla was elected, the conspirator went into a restroom, pulled out the transmitter, pressed the button the number of times for the cardinal, then flushed the list and the transmitter down the toilet.
Now, I think electronic sweeping for such bugs has improved (especially since we didn’t hear any stories about Benedict’s election), so I’m assuming we won’t be hearing anything until we see the white smoke from the chimney.
Need to go after those eight maids-a-milking first...
LOL! I hope he was talking about his time in Rome BEFORE the Conclave begins. Surely he can't think he'd 'tweet' during the conclave. Even I know the Cardinals are locked in without any connection to the outside world.
That may be because you're not Catholic. That term has been used for years, and it has no political overtones, like "one world". It simply means that the Catholic Church is truly 'catholic', or 'universal', meaning it exists around the whole world.
I don’t think so, Mahony. All electronic devices will be checked at the door.
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I'm sorry. Did I miss a /s/ tag?
Shortly after the pope's announcement on Monday, EWTN held a LIVE panel discussion to discuss, update and keep catholics informed. The panel included Fr. Mitch Pacwa, the president of EWTN and Colin Donovan, VP for theological affairs. One of the points discussed was precisely the notion of the pope voting for his successor. Donovan noted that we are in uncharted waters. As Supreme Pontiff, Pope Benedict could vote for his successor; in fact, he could appoint his successor. Given what we understand about this pope, however, all agreed that Pope Benedict would not pursue either course. In this particular instance, age was no longer a factor.
Cardinal Husar, on the other hand, will turn 80 two days before Pope Benedict steps down. In his case, age is the factor and he will not be eligible to vote. It was noted, though, that Pope Benedict could have mandated that Husar be permitted to vote but, here again, that would not be inconsistent with how Pope Benedict approaches these matters.
He could --- in theory ---- even appoint a body of female electors, and say they can vote only for a (male) Roman Catholic who is capable of being ordained a priest and consecrated a bishop.
Incidentally, I think that's they way the Iroquois used to designate leadership: only male candidates, but only female electors.
Wouldn't that be "historic"!
Not gonna happen, of course. But it would be Roman-Catholicly, theologically valid.
IF-— that is to say -— IF that’s the way Papa Benedictus wanted it.