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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The period during which an episcopal see or diocese is vacant, that is, without a bishop. Generally applied to the See of Rome. Procedures during this time follow the norms set down by Pope Paul VI in the apostolic constitution Romano Pontifici Eligendo (1975), superseding the directives of Pope Pius XII (1945), and Pope John XXIII (1962).