Twitter-using Cardinals are going to have to shutter their devices when they all convene to select a new Pope to replace the outgoing Benedict XVI.
The 117 Cardinals who will participate in the upcoming Papal Conclave will be barred from tweeting the moment they sit down to make the decision. Like a sequestered jury, the Cardinals will be prohibited from have access with the outside world – and this of course includes Twitter.
According to the Catholic News Service, only 9 of the 117 “red-vested princes of the church who are eligible to vote for a new pope” operate Twitter accounts. They range in influence from small to large (in terms of followers). For instance, Spanish Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach of Barcelona has just over 2,000 followers.
On the other hand Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who was named Archbishop of New York by Pope Benedict,has over 81,000 followers and is an very active Twitter presence.
Twitter hit the Vatican in a big way in December, as Pope Benedict himself began tweeting his daily messages to millions of followers.
Some Cardinals have already been tweeting about the situation and the upcoming vote.
Historical news with the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.Am planning to be in Rome and vote for the next Pope.Will be tweeing daily.
— Cardinal Mahony(@CardinalMahony) February 11, 2013
It looks like Cardinal Mahony and a few others will have to silence their Twitter-thumbs for at least a few days (maybe) in March.