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A solemn declaration accepted in legal procedure in lieu of the requisite oath.

In England, Canada, and the United States, this is universal. In England and Canada the statutory enactments upon the matter provide that false statements under affirmation shall constitute the crime of perjury in like manner as false statements under oath. The same provision either direct or implied is found in the legislation of the various States of the Union. This right to affirm instead of giving oath is generally conferred in deference to conscientious or religious scruples against swearing, such as are entertained by Quakers, Moravians, Dunkers, and Mennonites. In the court of conscience such an affirmation is not held to have the standing of an oath for the cardinal and obvious reason that the intention to swear, i.e. to call God to witness, is formally excluded.


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The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

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Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

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Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

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