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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Formerly the papal office that drafted and issued the more important documents of the Holy See. It was of considerable importance in the Middle Ages, was reorganized in 1908 by Pope St. Pius X, but its functions have been absorbed by other offices of the Vatican since the Code of Canon Law in 1918, and the reorganization of the roman Curia under Pope Paul VI after the Second Vatican Council. (Etym. Latin cancellaria, the record room of a chancellor.)