§1. An oath, that is, the invocation of the divine name in witness to the truth, cannot be taken unless in truth, in judgment, and in justice.
§2. An oath which the canons require or permit cannot be taken validly through a proxy.
§1. A person who freely swears to do something is bound by a special obligation of religion to fulfill what he or she affirmed by oath.
§2. An oath extorted by malice, force, or grave fear is null by the law itself.
§1. A promissory oath follows the nature and conditions of the act to which it is attached.
§2. If an oath is added to an act which directly tends toward the harm of others or toward the disadvantage of the public good or of eternal salvation, then the act is not reinforced by the oath.
The obligation arising from a promissory oath ceases:
1. if it is remitted by the person for whose benefit the oath was made;
2. if the matter sworn to is substantially changed or if, after the circumstances have changed, it becomes either evil or entirely indif-ferent or, finally, impedes a greater good;
3. if the purpose or a condition under which the oath may have been taken ceases;
4. by dispensation or commutation, according to the norm of can. 1203
Those who can suspend, dispense, or commute a vow have the same power in the same manner over a promissory oath; but if the dispensation from the oath tends to the disadvantage of others who refuse to remit the obligation of the oath, only the Apostolic See can dispense the oath.
An oath must be interpreted strictly according to the law and according to the intention of the person taking the oath or, if that person acts out of malice, according to the intention of the person to whom the oath is made.
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