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After a brief introduction and prayer in the Pauline Chapel, the cardinals walking in order of seniority beginning from the junior cardinal deacon to the cardinal bishops, walked to the Sistine Chapel. Once in their assigned places in the Sistine Chapel, the senior Cardinal, Giovanni Battista Re, read aloud the following formula of the oath prescribed by the apostolic constitution Universi Dominici Gregis:

In conformity with the provisions of No. 52 of the Apostolic constitution Univesi Dominici Gregis, We, the Cardinal electors present in this election of the Supreme Pontiff promise, pledge and swear, as individuals and as a group, to observe faithfully and scrupulously the prescriptions contained in the Apostolic Constitution of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, Universi Dominici Gregis, published on 22 February 1996. We likewise promise, pledge and swear that whichever of us by divine disposition is elected Roman Pontiff will commit himself faithfully to carrying out the munus Petrinum of Pastor of the Universal Church and will not fail to affirm and defend strenuously the spiritual and temporal rights and the liberty of the Holy See. In a particular way, we promise and swear to observe with the greatest fidelity and with all persons, clerical or lay, secrecy regarding everything that in any way relates to the election of the Roman Pontiff and regarding what occurs in the place of the election, directly or indirectly related to the results of the voting; we promise and swear not to break this secret in any way, either during or after the election of the new Pontiff, unless explicit authorization is granted by the same Pontiff; and never to lend support or favor to any interference, opposition or any other form of intervention, whereby secular authorities of whatever order and degree or any group of people or individuals might wish to intervene in the election of the Roman Pontiff.”

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Then, one-by-one, each of the Cardinal electors, according to seniority, then personally took the oath according to the following formula:

“And I, N. Cardinal N., do so promise, pledge and swear. So help me God and these Holy Gospels which I touch with my hand.”

After all not required to be in the Conclave are asked to depart, Prospero Cardinal Grech, OSA, (a non-electing cardinal) will give a meditation.

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