04/18/2005, 00.00
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Cardinals in conclave as doors to Sistine Chapel are shut

Vatican City (AsiaNews/Agencies) – All 115 cardinals filed into the Sistine Chapel for the conclave as Joseph Ratzinger, dean of cardinals, started the entry rituals.

The red-robbed prelates chanted the litanies as they proceeded from the Hall of Blessings into the Chapel.

Once inside they intoned the Veni, creator Spiritus, the solemn hymn to invoke the Holy Spirit.

Afterwards, the cardinal electors took a solemn oath of secrecy one at a time, their right hand on the Gospel, to be faithful to the secrecy of the conclave.

"We promise and swear," each said, "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."

Following the ceremony, Mgr Pietro Marini, master of the liturgical celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, uttered extra omnes (all out) and shut the doors to the Sistine Chapel.

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