We'll receive a $25,000 grant if others match it by Pentecost. $17,718 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

APOSTASY (clerical)

Desertion by a man in major orders from his clerical state. The earliest discipline of the Church forbade clerics to leave the clerical state even in time of war. The Council of Chalcedon (451) threatened all deserting clerics with excommunication. Innocent III (1160-1216) modified the centuries old custom and gave permission for clerics in minor orders (below subdiaconate) to leave the clergy of their own will. Before the Second Vatican Council, those in minor orders who, after being admonished by the bishop, failed for a month thereafter to resume the clerical garb were reduced to the lay state. In current practice those in major orders--priests and deacons who apostatize--are subject to supervision and, if they remain contumacious, may be deposed from office.

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

The regal papacy remembered 6 hours ago
An archbishop's unconvincing defense of marriage 9 hours ago
Sacramental Issues, among Others May 5
Beyond Our Ken: Henri de Lubac's Paradoxes of Faith May 4
The French campaign for freedom of thought May 4

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
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