(Greek doulia ; Latin servitus ), a theological term signifying the honour paid to the saints, while latria means worship given to God alone, and hyperdulia the veneration offered to the Blessed Virgin Mary. St. Augustine (De Civ. Dei, X, ii, 1) distinguishes two kinds of servitus : "one which is due to men . . . which in Greek is called dulia ; the other, latria, which is the service pertaining to the worship of God ". St. Thomas (II-II:103:3) bases the distinction on the difference between God's supreme dominion and that which one man may exercise over another. Catholic theologians insist that the difference is one of kind and not merely of degree; dulia and latria being as far apart as are the creature and the Creator. Leibniz, though a Protestant, recognizes the " discrimen infinitum atque immensum between the honour which is due to God and that which is shown to the saints, the one being called by theologians, after Augustine's example, latria, the other dulia"; and he further declares that this difference should "not only be inculcated in the minds of hearers and learners, but should also be manifested as far as possible by outward signs" (Syst. theol., p. 184). A further distinction is made between dulia in the absolute sense, the honour paid to persons, and dulia in the relative sense, the honour paid to inanimate objects, such as images and relics. With regard to the saints, dulia includes veneration and invocation; the former being the honour paid directly to them, the latter having primarily in view the petitioner's advantage. More detailed explanation of dulia and the reasons for which it is shown to persons or things will be found in the articles IMAGES, RELICS, SAINTS. See also ADORATION and WORSHIP.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online