« Abishai Abjuration Ablon »


ABJURATION: A formal renunciation of heresy required of converts to the Roman Catholic Church. The First and Second Councils of Nicæa insisted on a written abjuration from those who, after having fallen into the religious errors of the time, desired to be restored to membership in the Church. The necessity of abjuration is reaffirmed in the Decree of Gratian and in the Decretals of Gregory IX., and found an important place in the procedure of the Inquisition. This tribunal distinguished four kinds of abjuration, according as the heresy to be renounced was a matter of notoriety or of varying degrees of suspicion,—de formali, de levi, de vehementi, de violento. Abjuration of notorious heresy or of very strongly suspected heretical inclinations took the form of a public solemn ceremony. In modern times the Roman Inquisition requires that a diligent investigation shall be conducted regarding the baptism of persons seeking 13 admission into the Church. If it is ascertained that baptism has not been received, no abjuration is demanded; if a previous baptism was valid, or was of doubtful validity, abjuration and profession of faith are necessary preliminaries to reception into the Church. A convert under fourteen years of age is in no case bound to abjure. The act of abjuration is attended with little formality,—all that is necessary is that it be done in the presence of the parish priest and witnesses, or even without witnesses if the fact can otherwise be proved. The modern formula of abjuration found in Roman Catholic rituals is really more in the nature of a profession of faith, the only passages savoring of formal renunciation of heresy being the following, “With sincere heart and unfeigned faith I detest and abjure every error, heresy, and sect opposed to the Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, Roman Church. I reject and condemn all that she rejects and condemns.”

John T. Creagh.

« Abishai Abjuration Ablon »
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