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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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IN COMMENDAM

Obtaining benefits from an ecclesiastical benefice temporarily, during a vacancy in the regular administration. Eventually the term referred to benefices that bishops or other prelates held besides their own sees, or from which lay persons might get revenue without spiritual jurisdiction or, in fact, without ever visiting or seeing. Numerous Church laws sought to restrain the practice because of the abuses to which it gave rise, from as early as the eighth century.

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

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