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A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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DECREE, ECCLESIASTICAL

Generally legislative enactments of the Pope, a council of the Church, or a congregation of the Holy See. Papal decrees are found in constitutions, apostolic letters, apostolic epistles, and motu proprios. Judicial decrees are all the rulings of an ecclesiastical court not comprised in incidental and final decisions. Nonjudicial decrees range from the regulations made in an episcopal visitation to such formal acts as removing or transferring a pastor. Roman congregations also issue decrees, but their decisions also take other forms.

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

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