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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In ecclesiastical law an association of the laity whose primary purpose is the promotion of public worship. Other aims may be joined with the primary one. Over the years, as recognized by the Code of Canon Law (1918), confraternities were founded as sodalities. An archconfraternity would be a sodality with the right to aggregate other associations of the same kind. By this aggregation the affiliated society could participate in all the spiritual favors conferred by the Holy See on the archconfraternity. (Etym. Latin con-, with + fraternitas, brotherhood.)