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Code of Canon Law

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  • BOOK IV : THE SANCTIFYING OFFICE OF THE CHURCH (Cann. 834 – 848)
    • PART II : THE OTHER ACTS OF DIVINE WORSHIP
        • TITLE V: VOWS AND OATHS (Cann. 1191 - 1204)
          • CHAPTER I : VOWS
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TITLE V: VOWS AND OATHS (Cann. 1191 - 1204)

CHAPTER I : VOWS

Can. 1191 §1 A vow is a deliberate and free promise made to God, concerning some good which is possible and better. The virtue of religion requires that it be fulfilled.

§2 Unless they are prohibited by law, all who have an appropriate use of reason are capable of making a vow.

§3 A vow made as a result of grave and unjust fear or of deceit is by virtue of the law itself invalid.

Can. 1192 §1 A vow is public if it is accepted in the name of the Church by a lawful Superior; otherwise, it is private.

§2 It is solemn if it is recognised by the Church as such; otherwise, it is simple.

§3 It is personal if it promises an action by the person making the vow; real, if it promises some thing; mixed, if it has both a personal and a real aspect.

Can. 1193 Of its nature a vow obliges only the person who makes it.

Can. 1194 A vow ceases by lapse of the time specified for the fulfilment of the obligation, or by a substantial change in the matter promised, or by cessation of a condition upon which the vow depended or of the purpose of the vow, or by dispensation, or by commutation.

Can. 1195 A person who has power over the matter of a vow can suspend the obligation of the vow for such time as the fulfilment of the vow would affect that person adversely.

Can. 1196 Besides the Roman Pontiff, the following can dispense from private vows, provided the dispensation does not injure the acquired rights of others;

the local Ordinary and the parish priest, in respect of all their own subjects and also of peregrini;

the Superior of a religious institute or of a society of apostolic life, if these are clerical and of pontifical right, in respect of members, novices and those who reside day and night in a house of the institute or society;

those to whom the faculty of dispensing has been delegated by the Apostolic See or by the local Ordinary.

Can. 1197 What has been promised by private vow can be commuted into something better or equally good by the person who made the vow. It can be commuted into something less good by one who has authority to dispense in accordance with Can. 1196.

Can. 1198 Vows taken before religious profession are suspended as long as the person who made the vow remains in the religious institute.




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