Renovation work on a convent previously occupied by cloistered nuns has been going on in secret since at least last fall, an issue apparently causing grumbling among cardinals about the choice of arrangements and whether Benedict’s presence on Vatican grounds will allow the retired pope to wield too much influence on his successor.
‘‘I don’t think there was a consultation of the College of the Cardinals about this,’’ Lombardi said Wednesday, deflecting questions about Benedict’s living arrangements. ‘‘The decision and the process of the decision was very limited in the number of persons involved.’’
That points to another aspect of Vatican secrecy: The habit of different wings of the Holy See jealously concealing information from one another.
‘‘There is very little cross communication within Vatican departments,’’ Thavis said, ‘‘so one department may know something but that does not mean that the Curia office down the hall knows about it as well.’’
AP writer Daniela Petroff and AP Video Producer Tricia Thomas contributed.