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Catholic Dictionary




In ecclesiastical law a church is a sacred structure devoted to divine worship for the principal purpose of being used by all the faithful for public divine worship. An oratory is different from a church in that it is not principally destined for public worship by all the faithful even though, in the case of a public oratory, they have the right to go there. so, too, a shrine, if principally destined to honor a particular saint in a given locality, is not technically a church.