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Author Topic: Simple vs. Solemn Vows  (Read 3602 times)


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Simple vs. Solemn Vows
« on: June 12, 2008, 04:11:pm »
Am I right in my reading of the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Vows (under the section "Canonical Aspects) that the article concludes that the difference between simple and solemn vows is that solemn vows are not only made by the person but reciprocally publically accepted (in the canonical sense) by the Church?

And thus that simple vows, while binding, are technically in the strictest private inasmuch as they are made between the person and God or even the person and the congregation, but not reciprocally accepted (in the canonical sense) by the Church, who nevertheless approves them thus giving them a public and authentic character?

Also, does anyone know why for over 200 years new Orders, strictly so called, with Solemn Vows have been approved?? Only Congregations with Simple??? And yet, in certain newer groups, of only diocesan right (or even just still Public Associations of the Faithful)...I see their constitutions mention Solemn Vows and Profession. Is this even possible in a non-Pontifical Right group? Or is it an oversight on the bishop's part? Or just a total loss of the traditional canonical distinction between the two types under the new Code?

The new Code of Canon Law says:

Can. 1192 ß1 A vow is public if it is accepted in the name of the Church by a lawful Superior; otherwise, it is private.

 ß2 It is solemn if it is recognized by the Church as such; otherwise, it is simple.

So...I'm not really sure. Any Canon Lawyers here? Because simple vows may now be public, it seems, but is this just sloppy use of the terms "public" and "acceptance" (in the traditional canonical sense) by the authors of the new Code? Or have they changed the nature of simple vs. solemn vows as understood in past days? Or is "recognition as such" by the Church the same as the reciprocal "acceptance" mentioned by the New Advent article? Or is the new code essentially making the difference arbitrary?

Likewise, does anyone know when exactly the last Order strictly so called was founded and what it was? What was the last new Rule (as opposed to merely constitutions) approved?

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