Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was named as Pope Benedict XVI’s successor late Wednesday evening by the College of Cardinals after two days of deliberations.
Conforming with worldwide hope that the new pope will help usher in a new, more modern Catholic Church, Pope Francis I’s election process marked the first time electronic security measures were installed within and around the Sistine Chapel during the conclave, in addition to the traditional physical security measures already in place.
The new electronic security measures were established in response to an incident during the 2005 conclave, in which a German cardinal reportedly texted that Joseph Ratzinger had been elected to a German television station, who released the name of the new pope to the world before the official announcement in St. Peter’s Square.
This year, the Vatican took no chance of the possibility of an information leak via electronic means. Workmen finished preparing the Sistine Chapel and the Santa Marta residence late last week by installing a Faraday cage to prevent electronic signals from escaping either building or the areas immediately surrounding them. Vehicles equipped with jammers also reportedly accompanied the minivans used to transport the cardinals from the residence to the chapel.
The Synod Hall, where the pre-conclave meetings took place, was also shielded to prevent the use of cell phones and other communication devices and the wireless network was temporarily deactivated as well.
Any recording—video, images or text—of the conclave meetings was forbidden, along with access to any outside news or communication. As additional security measures, all Vatican personnel were required to walk through metal detectors when entering the area and all cardinals were searched when they entered and exited the Santa Marta residence and the Sistine Chapel.
For more information, visit the Vatican Insider.
Leave a Reply