"I will observe absolute and perpetual secrecy": The Historical Background of the Rigid Secrecy Found in Papal Elections

  title={"I will observe absolute and perpetual secrecy": The Historical Background of the Rigid Secrecy Found in Papal Elections},
  author={Frederic J. Baumgartner},
  journal={The Catholic Historical Review},
  pages={165 - 181}
  • F. Baumgartner
  • Published 10 June 2003
  • History
  • The Catholic Historical Review
The title of this address is taken from the oath that cardinals participating in the next papal election will swear repeatedly in the course of a conclave. The oath is found in Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Constitution on papal elections published in 1996.1 It is an oath that all others-secretaries, physicians, confessors, and housekeepers-who are present within the precincts of the conclave also swear under pain of excommunication. If I were to provide all of the text in that Constitution on… 
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