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SECULARIZATION

The act of permanent separation of men or women from their obligations to the religious life. They are released from their vows and may return to the world. Except in purely diocesan orders, secularization requires a papal indult. Another form of secularization refers to what occurs when civil power forcibly deprives the Church of the possession and use of her schools, hospitals, and welfare institutions, as happens in Communist countries.

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

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