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John F. Chuchiak IV, Ph.D.

212 University Hall
Honors College
Missouri State University
Springfield, Missouri  65897
(417) 836-4852
(417) 836-6370
(417) 836-6372
JohnChuchiak@missouristate.edu

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Public Abjuration

 

Once the reading of all of the sentences had occurred, the other convicted heretics sentenced to make public abjurations, either de levi, de vehementi, or de formali, made their public retractions and swore to remain faithful to the Catholic Church.

 

Each of the prisoners stepped forward again and abjured publicly to never again fall into the errors of heresy. At this point in the ceremony, a public act of vindication could occur in the rare cases in which the Inquisition absolved or acquitted an accused heretic.

 

If an accused heretic was found innocent due to false-witness testimony, the Inquisition allowed the prisoner "to appear at the auto-da-fé carrying a palm branch as a symbol of his or her vindication before the Holy Office."