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Catholic Culture Dedication
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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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An act of sexual intercourse between a man and a woman who are not validly married, although they are free to marry. It is by its nature gravely sinful. (Etym. Latin fornicatio, fornication; from fornix, a vault, arch, brothel.)