After the details of private conversations between Cardinals have been reported in the press, the College of Cardinals has decided to impose a media blackout.

VATICAN CITY — The College of Cardinals that will elect the next pope cut off formal communications with the news media on Wednesday after their private deliberations emerged in the Italian press, raising the specter of a leaking scandal that cast a pall over the last year in office of Pope Benedict XVI.

“Concern was expressed in the General Congregation about leaks of confidential proceedings reported in Italian newspapers,” said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who has organized news conferences with American cardinals in recent days. “As a precaution, the cardinals have agreed not to do interviews.”

The decision, communicated only an hour before a scheduled news conference with American cardinals on Wednesday afternoon, marked a quick end to a brief period of openness on the part of the Americans, who had said they hoped to keep reporters as informed as possible without breaking vows of secrecy.

I think this a good idea, we don’t need to know right now. Silence is golden.