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

HOLY OFFICE

A Roman congregation founded by Pope Paul III in 1542. It was reconstituted in 1965 to become the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, but the original functions have not substantially changed. The purpose of the Holy Office was to defend Catholic teaching of faith and morals. It censored and condemned books judged dangerous to Catholic orthodoxy, and granted permission to read such books. It could dispense priests from the midnight fast required before celebrating Mass. It had exclusive jurisdiction over questions about the Pauline privilege and the impediments of worship and mixed religion. As a tribunal, it judged heresy and all offenses leading to a suspicion of heresy. Its members were bound to the strictest secrecy, called the secret of the Holy Office.

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

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

Recent Catholic Commentary

Politics and Religion 12 hours ago
Why secular liberals can't tolerate Kim Davis 13 hours ago
Our votes belong to God. 14 hours ago
Hey! Pope Francis just dropped a strong hint about the Kasper proposal. 15 hours ago
The dispensations of the Jubilee Year are a two-edged sword. 16 hours ago

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: SSPX priests will licitly and validly absolve sins during Jubilee of Mercy CWN - September 1