Petition the Bishop?


I’ve been doing a lot of posting on these forums about private vows. Frankly there are so many different aspects to consider, and dispensations aren’t as simple as they appear. I have run into yet another problem, which I believe is a legitimate concern. I was wondering whether anyone could shed some light on this situation.

When I went to speak to my Pastor and I mentioned a dispensation to him, he flat out asked me, “What is that?"

I’m not sure exactly how this affects things. He doesn’t seem to be familiar with the concept, but does that affect his capacity to dispense me? If it does, then I might possibly have to consult the Bishop, which doesn’t seem easy to do.

Furthermore, does he need to say specifically, “I dispense you,” or is it sufficient for him simply to tell me not to worry about my vows?

Anyone who can shed light on this issue will have done me the kindest service.


Any priest must know what the word dispensation means. I suspect that you are talking about scrupulosity/OCD issues, which may call for a professional counselor. Your priest may not feel qualified to deal with it.


I appreciate your response, but I’m telling you, it didn’t seem like he knew what I was talking about. I rephrased my request by saying, “I need you to release me from a vow”. He appeared to know what I was talking about then.


A person can’t guess what he really meant…you should ask him if he endorses the practice of making vows. I myself often wonder about the many people who make a vow, and then seem to always need a dispensation.
It would make more sense to me, in my humble opinion, to always try to do my best…and if I fail, simply avail myself of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
I’m not sure making vows and then needed to be released from them is the bets way (for me) to make a pious commitment to the Lord.
But that’s just me. :shrug:


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