Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Catholic Dictionary

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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DECREE, ECCLESIASTICAL

Generally legislative enactments of the Pope, a council of the Church, or a congregation of the Holy See. Papal decrees are found in constitutions, apostolic letters, apostolic epistles, and motu proprios. Judicial decrees are all the rulings of an ecclesiastical court not comprised in incidental and final decisions. Nonjudicial decrees range from the regulations made in an episcopal visitation to such formal acts as removing or transferring a pastor. Roman congregations also issue decrees, but their decisions also take other forms.

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