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DEGRADATION

A penalty by which a cleric is reduced to the lay state; a deprivation, an abasement. Its effects may be deposition and privation of a religious habit. It is permanent unless remitted by a superior after completion of conditions required as penance. It can only be imposed for things labeled criminal by law or if one continues giving scandal after deposition. It is real if accompanied by formalities prescribed by the Roman Pontifical, and verbal when inflicted by a person authorized to sentence.

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

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