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

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APOSTOLIC PENITENTIARY

A papal tribunal, whose origins go back to the twelfth century, delegated by the Pope to grant absolution from censures and certain dispensations reserved to the Holy See. In 1967, Pope Paul VI confirmed the competence of this tribunal over all that embraces the internal forum, even nonsacramental and to the use of indulgences, while reserving the right of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to examine the doctrinal aspects of indulgences.

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

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