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US cardinals call off press briefings ahead of conclave at Vatican

US cardinals call off press briefings ahead of conclave at Vatican
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Instructed by the Vatican not to talk to the press, American cardinals cancelled a press briefing ahead of preparations to choose a new Pope.

The briefing, which should have been at Rome’s North American College, was axed because of concerns about details of confidential proceedings leaking to Italian newspapers, according to a spokesperson for the US priests.

The Americans were the only group holding daily formal briefings and had already held two.

Although all cardinals are meant to remain tight-lipped, some are continuing to informally speak to the press.

Meanwhile, there is still no set date for the start of the conclave – despite nearly all the cardinals now having arrived at the Vatican. There is increasing speculation the conclave may not start early next week as had been expected.

The priests will be meeting daily for talks over the next few days to determine the candidates and qualities necessary for whoever takes over from Benedict XVI.

The goal is to have the new pope officially installed before the Holy Week ceremonies, starting with Palm Sunday.

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