We'll receive a $25,000 grant if others match it by Pentecost. $18,133 to go. Your gift will be doubled!
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

CHURCH BUILDING

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.

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

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

Recent Catholic Commentary

Sacramental Issues, among Others 8 hours ago
Beyond Our Ken: Henri de Lubac's Paradoxes of Faith May 4
The French campaign for freedom of thought May 4
Climate Change and Vatican II: Insights! May 1
Are Catholic schools Catholic? A strange case in San Francisco. May 1

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - April 21