I’m asking this question here because I don’t know of a priest nearby who might have an answer to my question. So here it is- and I do think scrupulosity plays a big part. Fourteen years ago, when I was very scrupulous, I believe I made a vow not to go to Communion unless I was sure I had not committed a mortal sin (I was never sure). I then forgot about the vow and didn’t remember for a long time. Since then I found that people who are scrupulous can go to Communion unless they are SURE they have actually sinned mortally.
If I abide by the vow I will go nuts second-guessing myself. Is this a case where the vow is invalid because I was somewhat misinformed when I made it? Can I safely disregard it? I know a vow cannot be made about something that is less good, and I feel like this would be an example of that. Thanks so much for your help!
I wish I knew someone I could talk to. I’m a Latin rite Catholic that goes to an Eastern-rite church. Would the pastor of the church count as my pastor, as far as dispensing vows goes? It’s kind of hard to get to see him and his English isn’t very good… would any priest nearby be able to dispense it?
Does it matter which Latin rite priest in the area I talk to? There are several, and the one who would probably be able to help me isn’t the closest geographically. Does it matter as far as jurisdiction goes?
Dear OP. It does not matter how close of far the priest is. He is a Catholic where ever he may be. And sorry if I sound harsh, but if this thing really bother you I think it is the same if you need to walk a mile or two. I hope you get your religius life back on track again. God bless you.
i would suggest there are a number of factors that likely render this an invalid attempt at a vow:
Can.* 1191 §3. A vow made out of grave and unjust fear or malice is null by the law itself.
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.* 1192 §3. A vow is personal if the person making the vow promises an action; real if the person making the vow promises some thing; mixed if it shares the nature of a personal and a real vow.
Scrupulosity adds an element of fear and compulsion.
I think there is a “substantial change in the matter promised”.
I would also suggest you promised neither an action nor a thing, you promised a non-action and a non-thing, which is really not possible to fulfill.
Canon 1196 1/ the local ordinary and the pastor with regard to all their subjects and even travelers;
It is your pastor who can dispense the vow.
Please let this be a lesson in making vows-- don’t make vows in the future, particularly during a scrupulosity episode.