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Catholic Dictionary




Any inheritance, especially from one's father. Solemn profession in a religious order requires the renunciation of one's patrimony. The Second Vatican Council extended this practice, declaring: "Religious congregations (with simple vows) may, in their constitutions, permit their members to renounce their inheritances, both those which they have already acquired, and those which may be acquired in the future" (Perfectae Caritatis, 13). (Etym. Latin patrimonium, an estate inherited from a father, patrimony.)