We'll receive a $25,000 grant if others match it by Pentecost. $23,825 to go. Your gift will be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

ABDICATION

The act of resigning or giving up a legitimately held ecclesiastical office, dignity, or benefice. In principle every ecclesiastical office or rank may be resigned by the one who holds it. To be valid, however, the abdication must be totally voluntary and free from simony. Papal abdication can be made into the hands of the College of Cardinals, since they have the right to elect a successor. Six popes actually abdicated: Marcellus, Liberius, Benedict IX, Gregory VI, St. Celestine V, and Gregory XII. Pope Pius VII signed a conditional abdication in 1804 before he set out for France to crown Napoleon. The condition was that he would automatically resign the papacy if he were made a prisoner in France.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

A silent scandal: Catholic schools promoting morally unacceptable vaccines April 24
A More Militant Church? April 24
How we'll know if the Vatican and the US hierarchy are serious about deposing negligent bishops April 24
Final take on the LCWR: A time to plant, a time to uproot April 24
With the LCWR, has the Vatican taken Gamaliel's advice? April 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - April 21