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Catholic Dictionary




Any act of clemency toward a guilty person. It may be release from all or some of the punishment, or, more properly, forgiving the offense on the part of the one offended. In civil and ecclesiastical law a pardon is also the document that declares exemption from the penalties for an offense or crime. And until modern times a "pardon" was synonymous with indulgence. (Etym. Latin per, through + donare, to give: perdonare, to remit.)