Ex officio Oath Law and Legal Definition

Ex officio oath is an oath made by an accused clergyman whereby he might swear his innocence and thus escape the censure or punishment of the ecclesiastical court. It is used as a form of coercion, persecution, and forcible self-incrimination in the religious trials. The system was a religious oath imposed upon the accused prior to questioning, to answer truthfully all questions that might be asked. It continued until it was abolished by statute 13 Charles II, c. 12. It was also known as Star Chamber oath or the practice of canonical purgation.