Vatican Press Office set up in Paul VI Auditorium

Vatican Press Conference: March 9, 2013

by John Vennari
March 9, 2013

The Vatican Press Office held a press briefing on Saturday, March 9 at 1:00 pm.

There are two press offices now in operation: the main Vatican office for full-time Vatican journalists, and an adjacent press office set up in the Paul VI auditorium. Those of us in the Paul VI press office receive a televised transmission of the press conference as it happens.

The briefing was primarily a collection of housekeeping items.

The Conclave will start on Tuesday, March 12. The Cardinals will move into the Domus Santa Marta on Tuesday morning, the Mass that opens the Conclave will be held at Saint Peter’s at 10:00 am the same day.

The procession from the Pauline Chapel to the Sistine Chapel begins on 4:30, which takes about an hour. Once all the Cardinals are in, there will be no more cameras allowed in the Sistine Chapel.

The Press Office will give us the daily schedule of the Conclave, which I will post once I receive an English edition.

On the days of the Conclave, the chimney smoke will occur twice a day: around 12:00 noon and around 7:00 pm.

If there is an election mid-day or mid-afternoon, the white smoke will appear between 10:30 - 11:00 am, or between 5:30 - 6:00 pm. Bells will also ring when a new Pope is elected.

There is other news too, but not of much consequence: the Cardinals will continue their discussions Monday morning, there are 145 Cardinals now in Rome, voting and non-voters (those over 80-years-old), the Cardinals draw their hotel room assignments by lots, etc.

Rome is presently bursting with journalists, as a Papal Conclave is a major event. The Vatican Press Office is not large enough to accommodate the huge number of media men now here. This is why there is an adjacent office in the Paul VI auditorium.

More later.

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