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Catholic Dictionary




Genuineness as applied to various objects or aspects of the Christian religion. The opposite of spurious or questionable, as authentic prophecy, revelation, relic, and especially inspired books of the Bible. More recently, especially since the Second Vatican Council, authenticity refers to the official teachings of the church's hierarchy. They are authentic because, and insofar as, they are authorized and therefore binding on the consciences of the faithful to accept and obey. (Etym. Latin authenticus, what comes from the author, original, genuine; from Greek authentikos, from authent_s, perpetrator, master.)