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.

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

Recent Catholic Commentary

Insights on the enigma that is Pope Francis March 27
Our Most Characteristic Vice? March 27
Recognizing the Noonday Devil March 27
Patricia Jannuzzi on gay activists: And the real problem is? March 27
Surrogate parenthood = exploitation of desperate women March 27

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope announces Jubilee: a Year of Mercy CWN - March 13