Much like an espionage movie, the Vatican and its secular faith Roman Catholic are riddled with secrecy, rituals and traditions. But since some of the 115 cardinal electors have embraced technology with an open mind, Vatican has been forced to adopt a compromising stand to meet halfway the world's technological advancements in Tuesday's start of papal conclave 2013.
Although the cardinals tasked to elect the new pope have been sworn into secrecy, the Vatican is still not taking any chances.
It had ordered that anti-bugging devices, inventions of the new world, be installed in Sistine Chapel to pre-empt leakage, compliance to a 1996 order by then Pope John Paul II.
"Careful and stringent checks must be made... in order to ensure that no audiovisual equipment has been secretly installed in these areas for recording and transmission to the outside," the document stated.
At least this is no secret. The cardinals are very much aware their actions are being observed once inside the chapel.
The cardinals have also been directed since last week to suspend their updates via their Twitter and Facebook accounts. Even smartphone conclave apps are barred.
The cardinals are likewise cut off from any news or development from the outside world while the conclave is ongoing and until it is over.
They have likewise been ordered to zip their mouths and refrain from talking to reporters.
But apart from the bugging devices, the air of secrecy, rituals and traditions remain.
The voting for the next pope will not utilize a high-tech electronic voting machine. Votes will be written manually on a piece of paper and then cast it into a specially designed urn.
Vote counting may then begin once the number of votes matches the number of electors. As the name on each vote is called, a needle and thread will be passed through each ballot to signify is has been counted.
The thread will then be knotted at the end of the count.
The cardinal electors are expected to four times a day until a two-thirds consensus, or 77 votes to a single name, emerges.
Once a new pope has emerged, Vatican will announce it not through Twitter or Facebook but through the peals of the bells of St. Peter's Basilica.
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