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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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Systematic mental, moral, or physical training under someone in authority. the term also applies to the order maintained by persons under control, whether self-determined or imposed by others. It is likewise a private means of penance, in use among ascetics since the early Church, e.g., a whip or scourge. It is the exercise by the Church of her right to administer spiritual penalty, and it may finally refer to any of the laws and directions set down by Church authority for the guidance of the faithful. (Etym. Latin disciplina, instruction, knowledge.)