Sistine Chapel prepares to install electronic jammers

Vatican City (Reuters)-For hundreds of years, the Roman Catholic Church has relied on the walls of the Sistine Chapel to keep the secret of electing a new pope. However, the Vatican must now turn to an electronic armory, the cardinal is tweeting, and the one-year leak is destroyed. When princes dressed in red in the church gather in Rome to elect Pope Benedict’s successor, safety comes first. This is the first pope in power in centuries to be plagued by the Valtletas scandal. And leaked corruption in the Holy See. The word “conclave” means “with key” in Italian. It comes from Latin and refers to a room that can be locked. However, in the 21st century, closed doors are no longer enough.

Workers are preparing the Sistine Chapel for the secret ballot to be held next week by laying a false floor on ornate tiles and installing electronic portable jammer to block signals from the 15th-century church. Escape the fresco “Last Judgment” from the vast area of ​​Michelangelo. Before the vote, Vatican officials will use insect-proof scanners to scan the churches and guest houses where the cardinal is located to detect hidden microphones. Vatican police are no strangers to this surveillance. Last year, several telephone lines in the city were tapped to investigate whether insider butler Paolo Gabriele forwarded documents to Italian journalists in early 2019.

As Chamberlain of the church, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone is responsible for maintaining confidentiality with the three selected cardinal assistants. They can hire two trusted technicians to help. Your workload is huge. It is forbidden to use any technology to record or transmit voice, images or text outside the venue, and the cardinal vowed never to disclose his procedures unless ordered by the new pope. Television, radio and all news from the outside world are also banned. Cardinals are not allowed to communicate with the outside world unless they have special permission for “extremely serious and urgent reasons.”

Prior to the election of Pope John Paul II, the cardinals who participated in the conference slept on the camp bed, and there was a temporary wall in the hall and apartment next to the Sistine Chapel. Perennial cardinals have limited shared toilet facilities. In 1996, John Paul updated the rules of the conference area to solve new technical problems and built the Domus Sanctae Marthae hotel run by nuns. Its rooms are simple enough to accommodate all the main people. The room is divided into many.

When voters walked a few hundred meters from the gate of the guest house behind St. Peter’s Church to the Sistine Chapel, they were escorted by the Vatican police. You can also choose to take the Vatican bus. The entire area will be sealed off, and Vatican authorized personnel must pass through metal detectors. Most importantly, the Vatican has urged the cardinal’s own conscience not to violate the rules. Lombard told reporters this week: “We count on the morality and responsibility of the people.”

Every bishop swears to keep secret when entering the Sistine Chapel. “We promise and swear to observe the election of the Pope of Rome by clergy and non-professionals and the secrets of the election as faithfully as possible,” this is a promise. The cardinal and a few nuns, doctors and assistants who presided over the meeting will be automatically excommunicated from the church if they violate the agreement. Official concerns about leaks are not surprising. Before the meeting, the bishops provided strategic information to the media, perhaps to favor the candidates or themes they chose.

On Wednesday, Vatican officials urged the cardinal to stop speaking to the media and cancelled the last-minute press conference after Italian newspapers published detailed reports about who said what was said in the discussion about the future pope before the meeting. Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardy told reporters: “I don’t know who is breaking the confidentiality agreement.” “If anyone knows who is hurting this person, they should say so.”

This time, the Holy See had to face a new enemy: Twitter. Despite the power outage, Roger Mahony, who was forced not to participate in the cover-up of sexual abuse in the United States, continued to provide information on Twitter on Thursday and Friday, pointing out the “excitement” and announcing that he would be all 115 Seven voters had arrived in Rome when they participated, and three other cardinals-Timothy Dolan of New York, Christoph Schönborn of Vienna and Jean Pierre of Bordeaux, France Jean-Pierre Ricard, who also published or published an article in his home country on Friday, discussed their general discussion of the Vatican.