can a priest dispense a private vow to celibacy?? Or must one consult the Holy See?


I’m not sure what you’re asking. Priests do not have private vows of celibacy. They have official, binding vows of celibacy as a part of their priesthood (as long as they are in the Latin Rite and there are no contingencies, like formerly being a married Anglican minister).


I think the OP is referring to a private vow made by a lay person.

OP, I don’t know much about private vows but I did find this bit of canon law which might help:

Can. 1194 A vow ceases by the lapse of the time designated to fulfill the obligation, by a substantial change of the matter promised, by the absence of a condition on which the vow depends, by the absence of the purpose of the vow, by dispensation, or by commutation.

Can. 1195 The person who has power over the matter of the vow can suspend the obligation of the vow for as long a time as the fulfillment of the vow brings disadvantage to that person.

Can. 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.

Can. 1197 The person who makes a private vow can commute the work promised by the vow into a better or equal good; however, one who has the power of dispensing according to the norm of can. 1196 can commute it into a lesser good.

Hope this helps. If not, I’d recommend speaking to your pastor.


can a preist dispense a lay person who has made a private vow of celibacy? Sorry that was misleading


It must be the pastor, bishop, or other duly designated cleric, as seagal proved with the Code.

If this is a matter directly addressing yourself, set up a meeting with your pastor in real life. He will probably ask about how exactly you went about making such a vow, what you’re understanding of it was, etc. Chances are, it did not fulfill the conditions for rising to the level of a vow… BUT GO TALK TO HIM ABOUT IT.


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