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A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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ORDINARY

In ecclesiastical law a cleric with ordinary jurisdiction in the external forum over a specified territory; the Pope with unlimited jurisdiction; diocesan bishops and their vicars; prelates nullius; capitular vicars and administrators filling the vacancy in a diocese. Also superiors general, abbots primate, provincial abbots of exempt monasteries. Their representatives too are called ordinaries. (Etym. Latin ordinarius, regular, usual.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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