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


#1

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?


#2

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.


#3

No further commentary from me is needed.


#4

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.


#5

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