TODAY   |  March 07, 2013

Cardinals close ranks to prevent conclave leaks

The Vatican is clamping down on social media and cardinals are ceasing to hold press conferences in an effort to make sure that none of what will be discussed in the secret conclave is leaked to the public. NBC’s Keir Simmons reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> vatican, we could be getting closer to a date for the conclave. as of this morning, secrecy could become the top priority for vatican officials. keir simmons is there. good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning. there were rumors this morning a date for the conclave might be announced but in its only official briefing for the day, the vatican has just said they haven't set a date yet. but look at this newspaper reporting news about the u.s. cardinals, says they have been blocked from independently briefing the media saying the tension among the cardinals escalates. the u.s. cardinals have been told to stop talk, to close ranks. since monday, they've been holding news conferences.

>> no one really wants to rush this if it can't be rushed.

>> reporter: the last abrupt ly can toledo before it began, vatican impose iing immediate break down despite hopes the churn will modernize.

>> i think it will backfire because it shows fear of the truth and fear of the outside world .

>> reporter: it is italian newspapers where many leaks seem to appear. they have even more details.

>> the italians leak things to italian papers.

>> reporter: amid the tension cardinals spent wednesday night in prayer but no clue yet who might be chosen or even when. ordinary catholics among the u.s. and wednesday's kong combinati congregation.

>> i want to show my support of the cardinals because they have a very heavy responsibility on their shoulders electing a new pope.

>> reporter: in the sistine chapel , work is under way. and here it the paper is burned after each indecisive vote. it will be done in secret. first, they must set a date for the conclave to start and even this simple diary date is still shrouded in mystery.

>> look at this photograph, the former pope benedict the xvi walking in the gardens of his summer residence where he is expected to be. another italian newspaper got this photograph. and the last cardinal to be involved in the conclave is expected to arrive today.