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Catholic Dictionary




Systematic mental, moral, or physical training under someone in authority. the term also applies to the order maintained by persons under control, whether self-determined or imposed by others. It is likewise a private means of penance, in use among ascetics since the early Church, e.g., a whip or scourge. It is the exercise by the Church of her right to administer spiritual penalty, and it may finally refer to any of the laws and directions set down by Church authority for the guidance of the faithful. (Etym. Latin disciplina, instruction, knowledge.)