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.
A term coined by those who distinguish between defined doctrines, which they admit are infallible, and official doctrines not defined by the Church, which they claim are not infallible. Such use of the term is ambiguous and may be erroneous, since many doctrines of the Church in faith and morals, e.g., that contraception is gravely sinful, are infallible from the ordinary universal magisterium. Moreover, even other doctrines, just because they are taught by the Church, are to be accepted in obedience to the hierarchical authority established by Christ.