May 2, 2010
Question 254 - Question on oath of citizenship
Hi. I was hoping you could answer a question I have regarding the U.S. oath of citizenship. The following is the oath that those who wish to become citizens of the United States of America must take:
I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.
I want to draw your attention to the bold regarding allegiance and fidelity to a foreign prince. How does this relate to a Catholic's fidelity to the Pope?
R. Sungenis: Brian, I believe the answer lies in the fact that the pope is not a "prince, potentate, state or sovereignty" insofar as civil government is defined. A church is not a civil government. That is why the pope does not assume titles with civil connections. We call him pope, Holy Father, vicar of Christ, Supreme bishop, et al, but nothing resembling a civil leader.
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- Question 254 - Question on oath of citizenship