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Charges that were formerly made in some dioceses for the use of certain seats in church. In the United States the practice had been approved by the Third Council of Baltimore and endorsed by the Holy See as a source of revenue for church maintenance and the support of the clergy. Renting a pew or section entitled a person to use a given place at all or any of the divine services in that church. In some dioceses a person could receive pastoral administrations even though registered in another parish. Those unable to pay pew rent were at liberty to use the numerous unassigned seats in the Church.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.