Catholic Culture Solidarity
Catholic Culture Solidarity

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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A class of ascetics in the early Church who lived either in their own homes or in small groups near the cities and acknowledge no monastic superior. St. Benedict spoke of them critically in the first chapter of his Rule, as persons who decide on their own what is holy and what is unholy, and thus follow their own conceits. The term is still used to describe religious who follow their own ideas independently of ecclesiastical authority.