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.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle 0 hours ago
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed 0 hours ago
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? 5 hours ago
The Complexity of Reforming Religious Communities December 17
Speaking Softly to Women Religious December 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17