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Cardinals' lips sealed

After celebrating Pope John Paul II's funeral mass on Friday, the cardinals have begun "a more intense period of silence and prayer" in preparation for the conclave, and they have "unanimously decided" to avoid media interviews.

Catholic News Service says that Vatican Press Office director, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, made the announcement to journalists on Saturday, at the end of the Sixth General Congregation of Cardinals during the vacant see period.

"Journalists are therefore courteously invited to abstain from asking the cardinals for interviews or any other comments," he said. "This invitation should not be seen as an attitude of discourtesy or disinterest with regards to the media … but rather as a gesture of great responsibility."

The 130 cardinals at the assembly took their oath. They discussed the "novendiali"—the nine days of mourning for the late Pope— and certain questions concerning their entry into the Domus Sanctae Marthae, said Navarro-Valls.

They also read chapters 1 and 2 of Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici gregis.

The conclave is set to begin on Monday April 18 at 4:30 pm local time.

Cardinals unanimously decide to avoid media (Catholic News Agency 10/4/05)
Who is worthy? Cardinals look for pope who will 'be himself' (Catholic News Service 10/4/05)
Scottish cardinal says church must stress 're-Christianization' (Catholic News Service 10/4/05)

11 Apr 2005