With all the joys all over the world this weekend with the election of the Pope Francis, I have some very sad and disturbing news that I have to relay that has been reported all over the news media:
EVIDENCE SHOWS THAT CARDINAL SEAN WAS ONE OF THE CARDINALS WHO LEAKED INFORMATION ABOUT THE CONCLAVE, AND THEREFORE [THEY ARE] LATAE SENTENTIAE EXCOMMUNICATED, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE MOTU PROPRIO, NORMAS NONNULLAS, BY BENEDICT XVI ON FEB. 22, 2013.
(Click here to read full Papal Bull in English)
Canon 1204 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law states:
"An oath is to be strictly interpreted according to the law and the intention of the person taking the oath, or if that person acts out of fraud, according to the intention of the person to whom the oath is made."
The oath taken by the Cardinals states:
"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 favour 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. 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."
It doesn't get any clearer than this. Cardinal Sean committed perjury. If he did this before a grand jury he would end up behind bars.
The same would apply towards the seal of confession. If he (or any priest) called the cops on a penitent who confessed to killing someone, then the sacrament would be invalid in this case, but no automatic excommunication. While Father was being a good citizen by reporting this criminal to the police, by telling them something from the confessional invalidates the sacrament.
Technically now, if Cardinal Sean is automatically excommunicated for telling The Boston Globe what he had for lunch, then he has put himself OUTSIDE the Church, and therefore is no longer Archbishop of Boston.
Under these conditions, the Holy Father does not have to issue a Papal Bull to all of these Cardinals who broke the oath, but he may if he wishes to do so.
It is not a very happy St. Patrick's Day in Beantown.