$32,232 to go to meet our Challenge Grant, by December 1st. Your gift now will count twice!
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

LEGITIMATION

Removal of the irregularity due to birth out of wedlock. Ecclesiastical law presumes legitimacy even if the marriage later is found to be invalid but was reputed valid at the time of the child's birth. Illegitimacy is removed if parents marry provided they were free to marry at the time of the child's conception or birth or at some intermediate time. Legitimation does not depend on the will of the parents. The Pope and those delegated by him have the power of legitimating anyone born out of wedlock and thereby removing any irregularities that would otherwise prevent the reception of priestly orders or advancement to a higher ecclesiastical office. (Etym. Latin legitimare, to make lawful.)

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

Putting Our Best Foot Forward 0 hours ago
Contentious Spirits, Beware! 23 hours ago
And here's another very old story: the secular media don't understand Catholic affairs October 29
How not to be persuasive October 29
Francis the Man, Francis the Pope October 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6