Pope Benedict Threatens Automatic Excommunication For Violating Secrecy
The pope also amended the conclave law to allow for the automatic excommunication of any non-cardinal who broke the absolute oath of secrecy of the College of Cardinals during the proceedings to select the new leader of the Catholic Church.
“[Such] an infraction will incur the penalty of automatic excommunication," the pope’s order stated.
Under the prior rules, any such person who violated the pact of secrecy was subject to punishment at the discretion of the new pope.
"The Holy Father wanted to make things immediately clear and not pass the burden of deciding the penalty on to his successor," said Archbishop Celata, according to CNS.
However, it is not clear what punishment would be meted out in the event a cardinal broke the vow of secrecy.