Help Now >
FREE Catholic Classes
(Latin per , through and jurare , to swear)
Perjury is the crime of taking a false oath. To the guilt of the sin of lying it adds an infraction of the virtue of religion. An oath properly taken is an act of worship because it implies that God as witness to the truth is omniscient and infallible. Hence the wickedness of invoking the Divine testimony to confirm an untruth is specially criminal. Prescinding from cases of ignorance or insufficient deliberation this sin is reputed to be always mortal. When in doubt one cannot without perjury swear to a thing as certain. When mental reservation is permissible it is lawful to corroborate one's utterance by an oath, if there be an adequate cause. It is obvious, however, that if in general it be true that there is need of caution in the use of mental reservations lest they be simply lies, there will be an additional motive for care when they are to be distinguished with the solemnity of an oath. According to the common doctrine as to co-operation in another's sin, it would be a grievous offense to require a person to take an oath when we know he is going to perjure himself. This teaching, however, does not apply to cases in which justice or necessity demand that a statement be sworn to. Hence, for instance, a trial judge, may insist that evidence be presented under oath even though it be clear that much or all of the testimony is false. Perjury, according to the divisions in vogue in Canon Law, belongs to the category of crimes called mixed . These may fall under the cognizance of either the ecclesiastical or civil court, according as they are reputed to work damage either to the spiritual or civil commonwealth. No canonical penalty is incurred by one guilty of perjury, at least directly. When, however, a person has been convicted of it before a competent tribunal and sentence imposed, he is esteemed infamous ( infamia juris ) and therefore irregular.
Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.
Saint of the Day for Saturday, Dec 3rd, 2022
St. Francis Xavier
Mysteries of the Rosary
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Female / Women Saints
A Guide for Confession
Unfailing Prayer to St. Anthony
Saints A to Z: A
- Daily Readings for Sunday, December 04, 2022
- St. John of Damascus: Saint of the Day for Sunday, December 04, 2022
- Thanks for Family and Friends: Prayer of the Day for Sunday, December 04, 2022
- Daily Readings for Saturday, December 03, 2022
- St. Francis Xavier: Saint of the Day for Saturday, December 03, 2022
- Prayer to Saint Therese De Lisieux for Guidance: Prayer of the Day for Saturday, December 03, 2022
FREE Catholic Classes Pick a class, you can learn anything
Copyright 2022 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2022 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.