February 25, 2013

Parrots may squawk in the Vatican Gardens during a conclave, but the cardinals are not allowed to tweet.

For most of the 117 red-vested princes of the Church who are eligible to vote for a new pope, Twitter isn’t an issue at all.

But the College of Cardinals does include at least nine active tweeters.

From the moment they enter the Sistine Chapel to cast their ballots, they will be forbidden access to their accounts along with all other forms of communication with the outside world.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York (@CardinalDolan) informed his almost 80,000 Twitter followers when Pope Benedict announced his resignation Feb. 11.

Other tweeters include Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston (@CardinalSean), Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, (@CardRavasi) president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Scherer of Sao Paulo (@DomOdiloScherer).