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Catholic Dictionary




A heathen. In general one who practices idolatry. Formerly used to describe anyone who did not profess monotheism, and still used by Christians, Jews, and Moslems to identify a person who does not believe in one God, Creator of heaven and earth. More properly a pagan is a person who has abandoned all religious belief, i.e., an irreligious person. (Etym. Latin paganus, countryman, villager, civilian; from pagus, district, province, village.)