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APOSTASY (ecclesiastical)

One of the three kinds of desertion recognized by the laws of the Roman Catholic Church; from Christianity, when a baptized person entirely gives up his Christian faith; from orders, when a cleric abandons the ecclesiastical state; and from religion, when a man or woman leaves the religious life without dispensation from public vows.

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

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