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APOSTASY

The total rejection by a baptized person of the Christian faith he once professed. The term is also applied in a technical sense to "apostates from religious life," who without authorization leave a religious institute after perpetual vows with no intention of returning. (Etym. Latin apostasia, falling away or separation from God; from Greek apostasis, revolt, literally, a standing-off.)

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

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