Down to the Wire: Just $6,682 left to match to win our Challenge Grant. Your gift will still 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

ABSOLUTISM

Government in civil society in which the authority is totally vested in the ruler. In theory it is unlimited sovereignty that has no checks or balances either within the political system or from the people who are governed. In practice it is reflected in the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt and the tyrants of pre-Christian Greece and Rome. The governments of Louis XIV in France and the czars of Russia were absolute monarchies. Modern dictatorships under Communism are forms of absolutism. (Etym. Latin absolutus, completed, unfettered, unconditional, from absolvere, to free from, complete: ab-, away from + solvere, to loosen.

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

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The gift of orthodoxy: A mercy and a challenge to mercy 7 hours ago
Getting Marriage Right November 25
O Earthly Lord, vouchsafe to us high speed Internet. November 25
No 'Francis effect' in Strasbourg November 25
What Pope Francis told European Parliament, and what Pope John Paul II said November 25

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25