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Vatican workers take oaths of secrecy as conclave nears
Vatican workers take oaths of secrecy as conclave nears

Housekeepers, elevator operators, workmen and others who might come in contact with Roman Catholic cardinals as they meet in secret conclave at the Vatican next week to choose a new pope took an oath of secrecy and signed written secrecy pledges Friday. Pursuant to section 46 of Pope John Paul II's 1996 Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis [text], several dozen read out a promise to

observe absolute and perpetual secrecy with all who are not part of the College of Cardinal electors concerning all matters directly or indirectly related to the ballots cast and their scrutiny for the election of the Supreme Pontiff. I likewise promise and swear to refrain from using any audio or video equipment capable of recording anything which takes place during the period of the election within Vatican City, and in particular anything which in any way, directly or indirectly, is related to the process of the election itself. I declare that I take this oath fully aware that an infraction thereof will make me subject to the spiritual and canonical penalties which the future Supreme Pontiff will see fit to adopt, in accordance with Canon 1399 of the Code of Canon Law. So help me God and these Holy Gospels which I touch with my hand.
Sessions of the conclave itself will be closed but some people may hear comments in between sessions. Secrecy is of great concern due to the availability of high tech listening devices, swarms of journalists outside the Sistine Chapel and, for the first time, the ability of the cardinals themselves to move freely about Vatican City [official website] once the voting starts. AP has more.