Papal Oath
© St. Joseph’s Catholic Church 2017
Papal Coronation Oath This sacred oath is taken by the pope upon is elevation to the Chair of St. Peter. Every pope since Pope Saint Agatho on June 27, 678 has taken it. Many believe it was even taken by several predecessors of St. Agatho. At least 185 Supreme Pontiffs took this solemn oath over the past 1300 years. In this oath, the Vicar of Christ vows to never contradict the Deposit of Faith, or change/innovate anything that has been handed down to him. This sacred oath was taken religiously up until October 1978. Thus meaning that John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul I all took this oath.  The oath states that should the pope break the oath, they would excommunicate themselves from the Church, and therefore, cease being pope. John Paul II was the first since at least the 7th century to not take it. Benedict XVI and Francis have followed in his footsteps. Here is the oath in its entirety. "I vow to change nothing of the received Tradition, and nothing thereof I have found before me guarded by my God-pleasing predecessors, to encroach upon, to alter, or to permit any innovation therein; To the contrary: with glowing affection as her truly faithful student and successor, to safeguard reverently the passed-on good, with my whole strength and utmost effort; To cleanse all that is in contradiction to the canonical order, should such appear; to guard the Holy Canons and Decrees of our Popes as if they were the divine ordinance of Heaven, because I am conscious of Thee, whose place I take through the Grace of God, whose Vicarship I possess with Thy support, being subject to severest accounting before Thy Divine Tribunal over all that I shall confess; I swear to God Almighty and the Savior Jesus Christ that I will keep whatever has been revealed through Christ and His Successors and whatever the first councils and my predecessors have defined and declared. I will keep without sacrifice to itself the discipline and the rite of the Church. I will put outside the Church whoever dares to go against this oath, may it be somebody else or I. If I should undertake to act in anything of contrary sense, or should permit that it will be executed, Thou willst not be merciful to me on the dreadful Day of Divine Justice. Accordingly, without exclusion, We subject to severest excommunication anyone -- be it Ourselves or be it another -- who would dare to undertake anything new in contradiction to this constituted evangelic Tradition and the purity of the orthodox Faith and the Christian religion, or would seek to change anything by his opposing efforts, or would agree with those who undertake such a blasphemous venture."