Can a priest abolish a vow that I made to God?


Years ago I promised to God that I will never smoke tobacco again. In confession he told me: I abolish this promise.

Having said that, Does he has the authority to do that? And if so, it is a mortal sin which makes me abstain from the eucharist?


Canon 1196 – In addition to the Roman Pontiff, the following can dispense from private vows for a just cause provided that a dispensation does not injure a right acquired by others:

1° the local ordinary and the pastor with regard to all their subjects and even travelers;

2° the superior of a religious institute or society of apostolic life if it is clerical and of pontifical right with regard to members, novices, and persons who live day and night in a house of the institute or society;

3° those to whom the Apostolic See or the local ordinary has delegated the power of dispensing.

Dispensation from a vow is its complete cancellation for a just reason by an authority competent in law. Just reasons include the public good, a serious difficulty in fulfilling the vow, excessive scrupulosity. In doubt or error about the adequacy of the reason, a dispensation may be lawfully given.


No further commentary from me is needed.


The vow is abolished, which answers the second part of your question. People need to take vows far more seriously - meaning, one should not go around vowing that one will do this, or not do that.

Note the last paragraph of babochka, about scrupulosity.


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