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Abjuration is the solemn repudiation, abandonment, or renunciation by or upon oath, often the renunciation of citizenship or some other right or privilege. It comes from the Latin abjurare, "to forswear").

Contents

Abjuration of the realm

Abjuration of the realm was a type of abjuration in ancient English law. The person taking the oath swore to leave the county directly and promptly never to return to the kingdom unless by permission of the sovereign. This was often taken by fugitives who had taken sanctuary:

I swear on the Holy Book that I will leave the realm of England and never return without the express permission of my Lord the King or his heirs. I will hasten by the direct road to the port allotted to me and not leave the King's highway under pain of arrest or execution. I will not stay at one place more than one night and will seek diligently for a passage across the sea as soon as I arrive, delaying only one tide if possible. If I cannot secure such passage, I will walk into the sea up to my knees every day as a token of my desire to cross. And if I fail in all this, then peril shall be my lot.

English Commonwealth

Near the start of the English Civil War, on 18 August 1643 Parliament passed an "An Ordinance for Explanation of a former Ordinance for Sequestration of Delinquents Estates with some Enlargements." The enlargements included an oath which became known as the "Oath of Abjuration":

I ..; Do abjure and renounce the Popes Supremacy and Authority over the Catholick Church in General, and over my self in Particular; And I do believe that there is not any Transubstantiation in the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, or in the Elements of Bread and Wine after Consecration thereof, by any Person whatsoever; And I do also believe, that there is not any Purgatory, Or that the consecrated Hoast, Crucifixes, or Images, ought to be worshipped, or that any worship is due unto any of them; And I also believe that Salvation cannot be Merited by Works, and all Doctrines in affirmation of the said Points; I do abjure and renounce, without any Equivocation, Mental Reservation, or secret Evasion whatsoever, taking the words by me spoken, according to the common and usual meaning of them. So help me God.
[1]

In 1656, it was reissued in what was for Catholics an even more objectionable form. Everyone was to be "adjudged a Papist" who refused this oath, and the consequent penalties began with the confiscation of two thirds of the recusant's goods, and went on to deprive him of almost every civic right.[2]

The Catholic Encyclopaedia make the point that the oath and the penalties were so sever that it stopped the efforts of the gallicanizing party among the English Catholics, who had been ready to offer forms of submission similar to the old oath of Allegiance, which was condemned anew about this time by Pope Innocent X.[2][3]

Great Britain

In England, an oath of abjuration was taken by members of Parliament, clergy, and laymen, pledging to support the current British monarch and repudiated the right of the Stuarts and other claimants to the throne. This oath was imposed under William III, George I and George III. It was superseded by the oath of allegiance.

Another famous abjuration was brought about by the Plakkaat van Verlatinghe of July 26, 1581, the formal declaration of independence of the Low Countries from the Spanish king, Philip II. This oath was the climax of the Eighty Years' War (Dutch Revolt).

Notes

  1. ^ C.H. Firth, R.S. Rait (editors (1911)). Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660, "August 1643: An Ordinance for Explanation of a former Ordinance for Sequestration of Delinquents Estates with some Enlargements", pp. 254-260. Date accessed: 16 March 2010
  2. ^ a b One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from: "Abjuration". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Abjuration.  , a publication in the public domain.
  3. ^ "Abjuration". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Abjuration.  Cites Reusch, Index der verboten Bücher (Bonn, 1883)

References

  • Black, Henry Campbell, and Bryan A. Garner (editors). Black's Law Dictionary (7th edition). West: 1999. ISBN 0-314-22864-0.
  • Knight, Bernard. "Crowner Part 4: The Right of Sanctuary."[1]
  • Meehan, Andrew B. "Abjuration." The Catholic Encyclopedia. 1907. [2]
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ABJURATION (from Lat. abjurare, to forswear), a solemn repudiation or renunciation on oath. At common law, it signified the oath of a person who had taken sanctuary to leave the realm for ever; this was abolished in the reign of James I. The Oath of Abjuration, in English history, was a solemn disclaimer, taken by members of parliament, clergy and laymen against the right of the Stuarts to the crown, imposed by laws of William III., George I. and George III.; but its place has since been taken by the oath of allegiance.


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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

A denial, disavowal, or renunciation under oath. In common ecclesiastical language this term is restricted to the renunciation of heresy made by the penitent heretic on the occasion of his reconciliation with the Church. The Church has always demanded such renunciation, accompanied by appropriate penance. In some cases the abjuration was the only ceremony required; in others abjuration was followed by the imposition of hands or by unction, or both by the laying on of hands and by unction. St. Gregory the Great (A.D. 590-604) in a letter (Epistolae, lib. XI, Ep. lxvii, P.L., Tom. LXXVII, Col. 1204-08; Decret. Gratiani, Pars III, Dist. iv, c. xliv) to Quiricus and the Bishops of Iberia concerning the reconciliation of Nestorians, sets forth the practice of the ancient Church in this matter. According to this testimony of St. Gregory, in cases where the heretical baptism was invalid, as with the Paulinists, Montanists, or Cataphrygians (Conc. Nicaen., can. xix, P.L., II, 666; Decret. Gratiani, Pars II Causa I, Q. i, c. xlii), Eunomians (Anomoeans), and others, the rule was that the penitent should be baptized (cum ad sanctam Ecclesiam veniunt, baptizantur); but where the heretical baptism was considered valid converts were admitted into the Church either by anointing with chrism, or by the imposition of hands or by a profession of faith (aut unctione chrismatis, aut impositione manus, aut professione fidei ad sinum matris Ecclesiae revocantur).


Applying this rule, St. Gregory declares that Arians were received into the Church in the West by the imposition of hands, in the East by unction (Arianos per impositionem manus Occidens, per unctionem vero sancti chrismatis . . . Oriens, reformat), while the Monophysites, who separated from the Church in the fifth and sixth centuries, were treated with less severity, being admitted, with some others, upon a mere profession of the orthodox faith [sola vera confessione recipit (Ecclesia)]. St. Gregory's statement applies to the Roman Church and to Italy (Siricius, Epist., i, c. i; Epist., iv, c. viii; Innoc. I, Epist. ii, c. viii; Epist. xxii, c. iv), but not to the whole Western Church, since in Gaul and Spain the rite of unction was also in use [Second Coun. of Arles, can. xvii; Coun. of Orange (A.D. 529), can. ii; Coun. of Epaon, can. xxi; Greg. of Tours, Historia, lib. II, c. xxxi; lib. IV, cc. xxvii, xxviii; lib. V, c. xxxix; lib. IX, c. xv].


As to the Eastern Church, St. Gregory's phrase entirely agrees with the rule laid down in the seventh canon of Constantinople, which, though not emanating from the Ecumenical Council of 381 bears Witness nevertheless to the practice of the Church of Constantinople in the fifth century [Duchesne, Christian Worship (London, 1904), 339, 340]. This canon, which was inserted in the Trullan or Quinisext Synod (canon xcv), and thus found a place in Byzantine canon law, distinguishes between sects whose baptism, but not confirmation, was accepted and those whose baptism and confirmation were rejected. With the Arians, consequently, are classed the Macedonians, Novatians (Conc. Nicaen., I, can. ix; Nicaen., II, can. ii), Sabellians, Apollinarists, and others, who were to be received by the anointing with chrism on the forehead, eyes, nostrils, mouth, and ears. Some identify this ceremony of the laying on of hands with the rite of confirmation, and not merely an imposition of hands unto penance. A similar discussion prevails in regard to the anointing with chrism.


I. Imposition of Hands


The imposition of hands, as a sign that due penance had been done, and in token of reconciliation (Pope Vigilius, P.L., CXXX, 1076), was prescribed first for those who had been baptized in the Church and who had later fallen into heresy. St. Cyprian in a letter to Quintus (epist. lxxi, in P.L., IV, 408-411) is witness of this practice, as is also St. Augustine (De baptismo contra Donatistas, lib. III, c. xi, in P.L., XLIII, 208). This rite was prescribed, secondly, for those who had been baptized in heresy. Regarding Pope Eusebius (A.D. 309 or 310) we read in the Liber Pontificalis (edit. Duchesne, I, 167): Hic hereticos invenit in Urbe Roma, quos ad manum impositionis [sic] reconciliavit. The same work (I, 216) declares of Pope Siricius (A.D. 384-399): Hic constituit hereticum sub manum impositionis reconciliari, prsesente cuncta ecclesia. [This latter was doubtless copied from the first chapter of the decretals of Pope Siricius, writing to Himerius, Bishop of Tarragona in Spain (P.L., XIII, 1133, 1134; Duchesne, Liber Pontif;, I, 132, 133).] Pope St. Stephen declares this rite to be sufficient (see St. Cyprian, Epist. lxxiv, in P.L., IV, 412, 413; Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., VII, iii, in P.G., XX, 641). The first Council of Arles (A.D. 314), can. viii [Labbe, Concilia (Paris, 1671), I, 1428; P.L., CXXX, 376] inculcates the same law. (See also St. Leo, Epist. clix, c. vii; Epist. clxvi, c. ii; Epist. clxvii, Inquis. 18; P.L., LIV.)


II. Unction


The unction alone or together with the imposition of hands was also in vogue. The Council of Laodicea (A.D. 373) in canon vii (Labbe, Concilia, I, 1497) confirms this usage in the abjuration of Novatians, Photinians, and Quartodecimans. The second Council of Arles (A.D. 451) in canon xvii (Labbe, IV, 1013) extends the discipline to adherents of Bonosius, adversaries of the virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Bonosianos . . . cum chrismate, et manus impositione in Ecclesia recipi sufficit). The Council of Epaon (A.D. 517), canon xvi (Labbe, IV, 1578), allows the same rite (Presbyteros, . . . si conversionem subitam petant, chrismate subvenire permittimus).


III. Profession of Faith


Especially after the birth of Nestorianism and Eutychianism, to abjuration of heresy was added a solemn profession of faith. It was thus the bishops who, in the Second Council of Ephesus, had espoused the cause of Eutyches and Dioscurus were reconciled to the Church. St. Cyril of Alexandria (Epist. xlviii, ad Donat. Epis. Nicopol., P.G., LXXII, 252) received a like profession from Paul of Emesa, who was thought to be affected with Nestorianism. St. Leo (Epist. i, Ad Episc. Aquilens. c. ii, in P.L., LIV, 594) required the same from the votaries of Pelagianism, as did also a council, held at Aachen in 799, from Felix, Bishop of Urgel [Alzog, Universal Church Hist. (tr. Cincinnati, 1899), II, 181].


It is to be noted that as clerics, unless degraded or reduced to the lay state, were not submitted to the humiliation of public penance, so, consequently, their admission into the Church involved no imposition of hands or other ceremony except a profession of faith (Fratres Ballerini, in Epist. S. Leon., n. 1594, P.L., LIV, 1492). In all cases there was demanded the presentation of a libellus, or form of abjuration, in which the convert renounced and anathematized his former tenets. After declaring his abjuration to be free from compulsion, fear, or other unworthy motive, he proceeded to anathematize all heresies in general and in particular that sect to which he had belonged, together with its heresiarchs, past, present, and future. He then enumerated the tenets accepted by said sect, and, having repudiated them singly and generally, he ended with a profession of his belief in the true Faith. Sometimes there was added, under pain of punishment, a promise to remain in the Church. Accidental differences only are found in the ancient formulas of abjuration extant. Later, in the countries especially where the Inquisition was established, three sorts of abjuration were practised:

  • Abjuration de formali (of formal heresy), made by a notorious heretic or apostate;
  • de vehementi (of strong suspicion of heresy), made by a Catholic strongly suspected of heresy;
  • de levi (of slight suspicion of heresy), made by a Catholic slightly suspected of heresy. The abjuration demanded of converts in the present discipline of the Church is essentially the same as the above. A convert to the Church who has never been baptized is not obliged to abjure heresy. A convert, whose baptism is considered valid, or who, at most, on his reception into the Church is rebaptized conditionally, is required to make a profession of faith, which contains an abjuration of heresy. A salutary penance also is imposed (S. Cong. S. Off., Nov., 1875. See Appendix Conc. Plen. Balt., II, 277, 278; American edit. Roman Ritual, 1, 2, 3). No abjuration is required from converts under the age of fourteen (S. Cong. S. Off., Mar. 8, 1882, in Collectanea S. Cong. de Propag. Fid., n. 1680, ed. 1903).
Portions of this entry are taken from The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907.

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