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

CATHOLIC ACTION

The apostolate of the laity under the guidance of the hierarchy. Since Catholic Action became an established feature of the Church in modern times, it has undergone several stages of development. The necessary role of the laity in the Church's mission of evangelization and education is one of the principal doctrines of the Second Vatican Council. They are seen as not mere supplements to make up for what is wanting among the clergy, nor even as mere assistants. Their function in the Church's mission to the world is co-ordinate with that of priests and religious, while they serve in the corporal and spiritual works of mercy in deference to the divinely established hierarchy. Consistent with the Church's development of the concept of subsidiarity, lay people are to be given every opportunity to make their own distinctive contribution to the Catholic apostolate. Moreover, with the progress in social communications they are to work co-operatively among themselves in groups and organizations that are always respectful of the local hierarchy but also conscious of their larger, even international responsibility (under the Holy See) to Christianize all of human society.

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

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Difficult Decisions in the Real World 2 hours ago
The real reason why divorced/remarried German Catholics are leaving the Church 3 hours ago
An unexpected surge in confessions? August 21
The Problem with Catholic Social Teaching August 21
In Iraq, the Pope has good reason to seek intervention, but fear unilateral US action August 20

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8