Sistine Chapel Secrecy


One of the realities of writing for a weekly publication is the risk of your words being out of date by the time they are printed. (Stay tuned for the next installment of my Prairie Messenger articles! 😉 )

For last week’s issue, I addressed the issue of secrecy in our papal elections. While I don’t necessarily think it is a good idea to bring cameras in for the voting process, I also don’t agree with the attempts to silence the media in the pre-conclave days. I also don’t agree with the threats that were bandied about for those who broke the precious code of silence.

And yet, in the days after the election, we are getting a pretty clear view of what happened in the Sistine Chapel. John L. Allen Jr from the National Catholic Reporter wrote a fascinating account pieced together from conversations with Cardinals who were there. Allen stipulated that “None violated their oath of secrecy by providing round-by-round vote totals, but they were willing to describe what happened in  more general terms.”

The church and the world is fascinated with Pope Francis; and rightly so. Therefore, it is fascinating to get a wee peak into how this election came to be. Yes, the Holy Spirit was working….to the surprise and delight of us all.

Here is a link to my Prairie Messenger column. As I re-read it now, I’m happy to see that some of the secrecy has been put aside. This shows a respect for all of God’s people. After all, this is our Pope and we have a right to know!

Culture of secrecy and exclusivity must be replaced