Cardinals Sworn to Secrecy

Norms Applicable During Vacancy of Apostolic See

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 5, 2005 ( Cardinals arriving in Rome and meeting in the official congregations with their peers are obliged to take an oath of secrecy and to respect all the norms left by John Paul II.

These norms are applicable during the vacancy of the Apostolic See.

Sixty-five cardinals, who attended the first general congregation that established Friday as the day for the Pope’s funeral, took the oath on Monday morning.

During that meeting, the oath was read by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals.

The oath states: «We, the Cardinals of Holy Roman Church, of the Order of Bishops, of Priests and of Deacons, promise, pledge and swear, as a body and individually, to observe exactly and faithfully all the norms contained in the Apostolic Constitution ‘Universi Dominici Gregis’ of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, and to maintain rigorous secrecy with regard to all matters in any way related to the election of the Roman Pontiff or those which, by their very nature, during the vacancy of the Apostolic See, call for the same secrecy.»

Then, each of the cardinals says: «And I, N. Cardinal N., so promise, pledge and swear.» And, placing his hand on the Gospels, he adds: «So help me God and these Holy Gospels which I now touch with my hand.»

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