We earn 8% in referral fees when you shop Amazon through our link. We make it easy! Click to learn how.
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

Opening Ourselves to Meaning and Purpose 7 hours ago
A thin-skinned Vatican spokesman harms his own standing 7 hours ago
Pope Francis prevails in Round I of battle for Vatican reform 15 hours ago
Social Media’s Vanity Fair: Danger on every side! March 4
The Ways of Evangelization March 3

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis to address Congress in joint session in September CWN - February 5