defaut, etc.


Senior Member
I am not sure how to translate 'defaut' in the following phrase and also would appreciate any help with the part highlighted below:

"Le décret dit-il pas que le défaut de prestation de serment ne peut être opposé aux prêtres qui sont dans ce cas, comme un moyen de les empêcher de dire la messe seulement dans les églises paroissiales..."

I have tentatively translated it as "The decree by...doesn't it say that the lack of swearing the oath may not be contrary/opposed to the priests who are in this case, as a means to prevent them from saying the mass only in parish churches..."

Thanks in advance for any ideas and/or explanations.
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