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Catholic Pocket Dictionary/I





















("Breakers of images") A name given to the powerful party which set itself against the religions use of images, and disturbed the peace of the Church during the eighth and the former half of the ninth century.


St. Thomas distinguishes ignorance from mere nescience. The latter he explains to mean the simple absence of knowledge; the former implies absence of knowledge in one who is capable of acquiring it. He proceeds to show that ignorance may easily involve sin, since a person is bound to use all reasonable means in order that he may have the knowledge necessary for the performance of his duties. Thus all men are bound to learn, so far as they can, the general principles of religion and morals; and a man sins grievously who remains from his own negligence in the belief that a false religion is true, or that an unlawful come of action which he is pursing is really lawful.


The Council of Trent states that in images there is no divinity or “virtue, on account of which they are to be worshipped."

The true use of images, now the danger of idolatry has passed away from Christian nations, admits of historical representations in art. Images, according to the Tridentine definition, are to be retained and honored, but abuses by the ignorant are to 'be removed. The object of images is to set Christ, His Blessed Mother, the saints and angels before our eyes, while the council adds that "the honor which is given to them is referred to the objects which they represent, so that through the images which we kiss, and before which we uncover our heads and kneel, we adore Christ and venerate the saints, whose likenesses they are."


The Meaning of the doctrine.-Benedict XIV. ("De Fest." clxxxvii. seq.), quoting Frassen a Scotist theologian, distinguishes between active and passive conception. The former consists in the act of the parents which causes the body of the child to be formed and organized, and so prepared for the reception of the rational soul which is infused by God. The latter takes place at the moment when the rational soul is actually infused into the body by God. It is the passive, not the active, conception which Catholics have in view when they speak of the Immaculate Conception. For there was nothing miraculous in Mary's generation. She was begotten like other children. The body, while still inanimate, could not be sanctified or preserved from original sin, for it is the soul, not the body, which is capable of receiving either the gifts of grace or the stain of sin. Moreover, from the fact that Mary sprang in the common way from Adam, our first father, it follows that she was the daughter of a fallen race and incurred the “debt" or liability to contract original sin. Adam was the representative of the human race: he was put on his trial, and when he fell all his descendants fell with him, and must, unless some special mercy of God interposes, receive souls destitute of that grace in which Adam himself was created. In Mary's case, however, God's mercy did interpose. For the sake of Him who was to be born.


It was defined and promulgated by Pius. IX., as a dogma if the Church on Dec. 8, 1854.


Ecclesiastical immunity is defined to be the right by which churches and other sacred places, as well as ecclesiastical persons and their property, are free and discharged from secular functions and burdens, and from acts repugnant to the sanctity and reverence which are due to them.


The contract of marriage between certain persons and in certain cases is null and void by the law of God, natural and revealed. The Church maintains that she may institute impediments which nullify the contract of marriage. The principle on which this tenet rests is a very simple one. Marriage between baptized persons, according to the Catholic doctrine, is a sacrament, and therefore this contract falls under ecclesiastical authority. Just as the State may pronounce certain moral contracts which are lawful in themselves null and void, for example, it may for the general good nullify certain engagements made by minors, so the Church may interfere as to the validity of the marriage contract. The State, on the contrary, has no power to nullify the sacrament of marriage, because it does not fall under civil jurisdiction. But where the formalities of marriage affect the public order, and the welfare of the married parties is concerned, the State may interpose.

Impediments are of two kinds. They may render marriage merely unlawful, in which we they are called "impedient"; or they may nullify it, in which ease they are known as "diriment."


Imposition of Hand in the old dispensation (Gen. xlviii 14, Deut. xxxiv. 9) symbolized the conveyance of grace and power. The rite has been retained under the new law, and in two instances (the imposition of hands in ordination and confirmation) it has received a sacramental efficacy.


Is the Catholic doctrine which gives expression to the truth that the Word took perfect human nature; that He had, a human intelligence as well as a body and soul. Fathers of the Church most commonly called the Incarnation the "economy," meaning 'that Christ took flesh in order to provide for our salvation.


The mystical significations of incense are obvious. It symbolizes the zeal with which the faithful should be consumed; the odor of Christian virtue; the ascent of prayer to God (Ps. cxl.2; Apoc. viii. 3, 4). It is used before the introit, at the gospel, offertory and elevation in High Mass; at the Magnificat in vespers; at funerals, &c.


An indulgence in the theological sense of the word is defined as a remission of the punishment which is still due to sin after sacramental absolution, this remission being valid in the court of conscience and before God, and being made by an application of the treasure of the Church on the part of a lawful superior.


(something granted by favor) A license or permission granted by the Pope, whether to a society or to an individual, authorizing something to be done which the common law of the Church does not sanction. A familiar instance is that of the Lenten indults, by which the Pope authorizes the bishops, according to the circumstances of different countries, to dispense more or less with the rigor of the canons as to the quadragesimal fast.


One who is not among the faithful of Christ. Popularly, the term is applied to all who reject Christianity as a divine revelation. In order to reject it, they must have heard of it; those, therefore, who have never heard of Christianity are not called infidels, but heathens. Heretics should not be called infidels, for they do accept the religion of Christ as divinely revealed, however erroneous or fantastic their notions as to the nature of the revelation may be.


From the earliest times the Church has regarded the children whom Herod slew in his desire to make sure of killing Christ, as Martyrs. In the middle ages it was usual for children to keep a time of festivity in honor of the Holy Innocents, which lasted from St. Stephen's Day to the Octave of the Epiphany. The feast of children is observed in Catholic countries as "Children's Day."


The word "inspiration," like many other theological terms, comes to us from the Latin version of the Bible. Thus St. Paul's words, 2 Tim. iii. 16, "Every Scripture breathed by God," is rendered "omnia Scriptura divinitus inspirata," and again when St. Peter speaks of the prophets as "moved by the Holy Ghost,"' the Latin has "spiritu sancto inspirati." Just as God is said in Genesis ii. 7, Wisdom xv.ll, to have breathed man's soul into his body; just as in Job xxxii. 8, the "inspiration of the Almighty" is said 'to "give understanding," so the sacred writers are described as inspired because God breathed into them or, to drop the metaphor, suggested the thoughts which they wrote down. Inspiration, therefore, may be defined as a supernatural impulse by which God directed the authors of the canonical books to write down certain matter predetermined by Him. Inspiration was bestowed upon the writers for the edification of others, and like all graces it is especially attributed to God the Holy Ghost.


The actual visible establishment in the possession of an ecclesiastical dignity or benefice.

Installation, in the case of a bishop, is called enthronization; it is the solemn entry into possession of his cathedral and episcopal residence on the part of the newly consecrated bishop, who wears all his pontifical insignia on the occasion. When the bishop is consecrated in his own church, the enthronization becomes identified with the consecration; but when the latter rite has been performed in another diocese, then, "according to .the ancient tradition, the bishop, dressed in the garb of a pilgrim, with his crozier in his hand, and the pastoral hat on his head, is received on arriving at the boundary of his diocese by the chapter and clergy of the cathedral city and district; by them he is escorted to some neighboring church, where, after a short prayer, he is presented with the episcopal ornaments and insignia, and then conducted in solemn procession to the sound of bells into his cathedral, where he is welcomed with the anthem Ecce Sacerdos Magnus and the Te Deum, while he takes his seat on his throne, from the raised dais of which he imparts to the assembled throng his episcopal benediction. After this he is escorted to his palace, the cross being borne before him.”


It is an ecclesiastical censure, by which persons are debarred from the use of certain sacraments, from all the divine offices, and from Christian burial.

Interdicts are divided into local, personal, and mixed. In the first kind a place is interdicted, so that no divine office may be celebrated or heard in it, either by the inhabitants or by strangers. By the second kind persons are interdicted, so as to be debarred from using the sacraments or exercising the functions prohibited in whatever place they may be. By the mixed kind both place and persons are directly interdicted that is a city and its inhabitants. Again, each of the first two kinds may be either general or particular. A particular local interdict strikes a single locality that is a church; a general one comprehends many localities, being pronounced against a nation, a state, or a city. A particular personal interdict strikes a single person; a general one of the same class is extended to a number of persons that is to all the people in a state, or all the members of a university.


(Invitatory Psalm.) The invitatory psalm, or the Ps. 94, "Come let us rejoice before the Lord,” is said at the beginning of Matins on all days except the Epiphany and the last three days of Holy Week. The invitatorium has an antiphon, the whole of which is repeated six times, and the half three times, in the recitation of the psalm.


Irregularity is defined as a "canonical impediment, which prevents a person from entering the ranks of the clergy, from rising to a higher order, or from exercising the order which he has received."


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