When the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church were sequestered in the conclave to choose a new pope, they were instructed to give up their cell phones. No texting! Revealing the secrets behind the election of the successor to Pope Benedict XVI, they and their attendants were told, would lead to excommunication.
Jammers were also installed in the Sistine Chapel to prevent electronic communication.
For an institution that has suffered its share of leaks, the Vatican maintained its storied traditions as it voted for a pope for the second time in the 21st century.
But while the announcement that a new pope had been chosen was made via a cloud of white smoke -- a tradition that has continued since the election of Pope Benedict XV in 1914, and a symbol of the cardinals' cloistered proceedings -- the introduction to the world of Argentinean Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis was made on live TV and Internet, via Twitter and Facebook, and by the countless smartphone and tablet photos snapped in St. Peter's Square. … Read more