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

OPTIONAL CELIBACY

A policy advocated in some Catholic circles to change the centuries-old practice of obligatory celibacy for priests in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. Although it was strongly promoted before the Second Vatican Council, the Council reaffirmed the Church's tradition on mandatory celibacy, declaring that "the more that perfect continence is considered by many people to be impossible in the world today, so much the more humbly and perservingly in union with the church ought priests demand the grace of fidelity, which is never denied to those who ask" (Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests, II, 16).

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

Recent Catholic Commentary

Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17
The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: A Primer April 16
Journey to the Sun: A Strange Biography of Junípero Serra April 16
Russia's demographic recovery + US demographic decline = danger April 16
James Carroll strikes (at the Church) again April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis's Easter Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - 15 hours ago
Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text) CWN - 15 hours ago