We'll receive a $25,000 grant if others match it by Pentecost. $23,735 to go. Your gift will be doubled!
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.

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

Recent Catholic Commentary

A silent scandal: Catholic schools promoting morally unacceptable vaccines April 24
A More Militant Church? April 24
How we'll know if the Vatican and the US hierarchy are serious about deposing negligent bishops April 24
Final take on the LCWR: A time to plant, a time to uproot April 24
With the LCWR, has the Vatican taken Gamaliel's advice? April 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - April 21