Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
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AGE OF DISCRETION
Sometimes refers to the age at which a person reaches adulthood and can make lifetime decisions, especially regarding one's state of life. But more commonly it is the age when a child is capable of making free acts of the will and therefore becomes morally responsible for his actions. This was St. Pius X's understanding as regards the age for receiving the sacraments of penance and Holy Communion. In general, it is about seven years of age.