Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $36,934 to go. Please donate!
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.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Church Moves On, Slowly 1 hours ago
Is Cardinal Kasper losing his grip? 5 hours ago
The Pope is not the problem October 23
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. October 23
Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal October 22

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6