Critical need by 8/31:   $10,000 to cover a crippling immediate shortfall.   $5,830 to go.   Please help now!
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

CHRISTENDOM

The Christian polity insofar as the principles of Christianity governed (and still govern) the laws and civil institutions of nations. Its foundations may be traced to the Jewish traditions of a theocracy, and its history properly began with the liberation of the Church under Constantine. It developed through more than a millennium in most of the countries of Europe and with numerous setbacks remained fairly intact until the Protestant Reformation. In its best days, Christendom represented the corporate Christian social life, and its impact on world civilization through the arts and philosophy, law and the medieval universities has been great and lasting. With the changed conditions in the world, the Second Vatican Council expressed the Church's new role in civil society: "By reason of her role and competence, the Church is not identified with any political community nor bound by ties to any political system. She is at once the sign and the safeguard of the transcendental dimension of the human person" (Church in the Modern World, IV, 76).

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

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Every Aspect of the Catholic Thing 14 hours ago
News Posturing: How the dramatis personae use each other 15 hours ago
The intractable practical problems with the Kasper proposal 17 hours ago
No, the Pope did not endorse a gay-friendly children's book 20 hours ago
Legal pressure does not make sterilization moral August 27

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: welcome with compassion those who have remarried outside the Church CWN - August 5