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Duty

The definition of the term duty given by lexicographers is: "something that is due", "obligatory service"; "something that one is bound to perform or to avoid". In this sense we speak of a duty, duties; and, in general, the sum total of these duties is denoted by the abstract term in the singular. The word is also used to signify that unique factor of consciousness which is expressed in the foregoing definitions by "obligatory", "bound", "ought" by and "moral obligation ". Let us analyse this datum of consciousness. When, concerning a contemplated acts one forms the decision "I ought to do it", the words express an intellectual judgment. But unlike speculative judgments, this one is felt to be not merely declaratory. Nor is it merely preferential; it asserts itself as imperative and magisterial. It is accompanied by a feeling impelling one, sometimes effectively, sometimes ineffectively to square his conduct with it. It presumes that there is a right way and a wrong way open, and that the right is better or more worthy than the wrong. All moral judgments of this kind are particular applications of a universal judgment which is postulated in each one of them: right is to be done; wrong is to be avoided. Another phenomenon of our moral consciousness is that we are tuted a hierarchical order among our feelings, appetites, and desires. We instinctively feel, for example, that the emotion of reverence is higher and nobler than the sense of humour; that it is more worthy of us as rational beings to find satisfaction in a noble drama than in watching a dog-fight; that the sentiment of benevolence is superior to that of selfishness. Furthermore we are conscious that, unless it has been weakened or atrophied by neglect, the sentiment attending moral judgments asserts itself as the highest of all; awakens in us the feeling of reverence; and demands that all other sentiments and desires, as motives of action, shall be reduced to subordination to the mural judgment. When action is conformed to this demand, there arises a feeling of self-approbation while an opposite course is followed by a feeling of self-reproach. Starting from this analysis we may expose the theory of duty according to Catholic ethics.

DUTY IN CATHOLIC ETHICS

The path of activity proper and congenial to every being is fixed and dictated by the nature which the being possesses. The cosmic order which pervades all the non-human universe is predetermined in the natures of the innumerable variety of things which make up the universe. For man, too, the course of action proper to him is indicated by the constitution of his nature. A great part of his activity is like the entire movements of the non-human world, under the iron grip of determinism ; there are large classes of vital functions, over which he has no volitional control; and his body is subject to the physical laws of matter. But, unlike all the lower world, he is himself the master of his action over a wide range of life which we know as conduct. He is free to choose between two opposite courses; he can elect, in circumstances inumerable, to do or not to do; to do this action, or to do that other which is incompatible with it. Does then, his nature furnish no index for conduct? Is every form of conduct equally congenial and equally indifferent to human nature ? By no means. His nature indicates the line of action which is proper, and the line which is abhorrent to it. This demand of nature is delivered partly in that hierarchical order which exists in our feelings and desires as motives of action partly through the reflective reason which decides what form of action is consonant with the dignity of a rational being, comprehensively, and with immediate practical application to actions in those moral judgments involving the "ought". This function of reason, aided thus by good will and practical experience, we call conscience.

We have now reached the first strand of the bond which we know as moral obligation, or duty. Duty is a debt owed to the rational nature of which the spokesman and representative is conscience, which imperatively calls for the satisfaction of the claim. But is this the be-all and the end-all of duty? The idea of duty, of indebtedness, involves another self or person to whom the debt is due. Conscience is not another self, it is an element of one's own personality. How can one be said, except through a figure of speech, to be indebted to oneself? Here we must take into consideration another characteristic of conscience. It is that conscience in a dim, undefinable, but very real way, seems to set itself over against the rest of our personality. Its intimations awake, as no other exercise of our reason does, feelings of awe, reverence, love, fear, shame, such as are called forth in us by other persons, and by persons only. The universality of this experience is testified to by the expressions men commonly employ when speaking of conscience ; they call it a voice, a judge, they say that they must answer to conscience for their conduct. Their attitude towards it is as to something not completely identical with themselves; its whole genesis is not to be accounted for by describing it as one function of life. It is the effect of education and training, some say. Certainly education and training may do a great deal to develop this impression that in conscience there is another self implicated beyond ourselves. But the quickness with which the child responds to its instructor or educator on this point proves that he feels within himself something which confirms his teacher's lesson. Ethical philosophers and conspicuously among them Newman, have argued that to him who listens reverently and obediently to the dictates of conscience, they inevitably reveal themselves as emanating, originally, from "a Supreme Governor, a Judge, holy, just, powerful, all-seeing, retributive". If, however, we accept Newman's view as universally true, we cannot easily admit that, as is generally asserted and believed, many men obey conscience and love righteousness who nevertheless, do not believe in a personal, moral ruler of the universe. Why may not the most uncomprimising theist admit that the moral guide which the Creator has implanted in our nature is powerful enough successfully to discharge its function at least in occasional cases, without fully unfolding its implications? One of the leading Unitarian moralists has eloquently expressed this opinion.

The profound sense of the authority and even sacredness of the moral law is often conspicuous among men whose thoughts apparently never turn to superhuman things, but who are penetrated by a secret worship of honour, truth and right. Were this noble state ofmind brought out of its impulsive state and made to unfold its implicit contents, it would indeed reveal a source higher than human nature for the august authority of righteousness. But it is undeniable that that authority may be felt where it is not seen--felt as if it were the mandate of a Perfect Will, while yet there is no overt recognition of such a Will: i.e.,conscience may act as human, before it is discovered to be divine. To the agent himself its whole history may seem to lie in his own personality and his visible social relations; and it shall nevertheless serve as his oracle, though it be hid from him Who it is that utters it. (Martineau, A Study of Religion, Introduc., p. 21.)

Nevertheless it must be admitted that such persons are comparatively few; and they, too, testify to the implication of another self in the intimations of consciousness ; for they, as Ladd says

personify the conception of the sum-total of ethical obligations, they are fain to spell the words with capitals and swear allegiance to this purely abstract conception. They hypostatize and deify an abstraction as though it were itself existent and divine. (Ladd, Philosophy of Conduct, p. 385.)

The doctrine that conscience is autonomous, independent, sovereign, a law-giver deriving its authority from no higher source, will neither, logically speaking, satisfy the idea of duty, nor sufficiently safeguard morality. One cannot, after all, owe a debt to himself, he cannot lay a command on himself. If moral judgments can claim no higher origin than one's own reason, then under close, severe inspection they must be considered as merely preferential. The portentous magisterial tone in which conscience speaks is a mere delusion; it can show no warrant or title to the authority which it pretends to exercise when, under stress of temptation, a man who believes in no higher legislator than conscience, finds arising in his mind the inevitable question, Why am I bound to obey my conscience when my desires run in another direction? he is perilously tempted to adjust his moral code to his inclinations; and the device of spelling duty with a capital will prove but a slender support to it against the attack of passion.

Reason solves the problem of duty, and vindicates the sanctity of the law of righteousness by tracing them to their source in God. As the cosmic order is a product and expression of the Divine Will so, likewise, the moral law which is expressed on the rational nature. God wills that we shape our free action or conduct to that norm. Reason recognizing our dependence on the Creator, and acknowledging His ineffable majesty, power, goodness, and sanctity, teaches us that we owe Him love, reverence, obedience, service, and, consequently, we owe it to Him to observe that law which He has implanted within us as the ideal of conduct. This is our first and all-comprehensive duty in which all other duties have their root. In the light of this truth conscience explains itself, and is transfigured. It is the accredited representative of the Eternal ; He is the original Imponent of moral obligation ; and disobedience to conscience is disobedience to Him. Infraction of the moral law is not merely a violence done to our rational nature ; it is also an offence to God, and this aspect of its malice is designated by calling it sin. The sanctions of conscience, self-approbation, and self-reproach, are reinforced by the supreme sanction, which, if one may use the expression, acts automatically. It consists in this, that by obedience to the law we reach our perfection, and compass our supreme good; while, on the other hand the transgressor condemns himself to miss that good in the attainment of which alone lies the happiness that is incorruptible. To obviate a possible misapprehension it may be remarked here that the distinction between right and wrong hangs not upon any arbitrary decree of the Divine Will. Right is right and wrong is wrong because the prototype of the created order, of which the moral law forms a part, is the Divine Nature itself the ultimate ground of all truth intellectual and moral.

ERRONEOUS ETHICS

We have already touched upon the main weakness of the Kantian theory, which is to treat conscience as autonomous. Another mistake of Kant is that in his system duty and right are made coterminous. A moment's reflection is sufficient to perceive that this is an error. There are many conceivable good actions which one can do, and which it would be highly praiseworthy to perform, yet which no reasonable person, however rigorous his ideal of conduct might be would say one is bound to perform. Duty and right are two concentric circles. The inner one, duty, embraces all that is to be observed under penalty of failing to live rationally. The outer contains the inner, but, stretching far beyond, permits an indefinite extension to the paths of virtue that lead to consummate righteousness and sanctity. Every philosophic system which embraces as one of its tenets the doctrine of determinism thereby commits itself to the denial of the existence of moral obligation. Duty implies that the subject of it possesses the power to observe the law, or to disobey, and the power to choose between these alternatives what reproach can a determinist mentor logically address to one who has committed a wrong action? "You ought not to have done so"? The culprit can reply: "But you have taught me that free will is a delusion; that no one can act otherwise than he does. So, under the circumstances in which I found myself, it was impossible for me to refrain from the notion which you condemn. What, then, can you mean by saying that I ought not to have meted as I did? You reproach me; as well reproach a tiger for having eaten his man or a volcano for having ruined a village."

With regard to the existence of duty every form of pantheism, or monism, logically finds itself in the camp of determinism. When man is looked upon as one with the Infinite his actions are not really his own, but belong properly to the Universal Being. The part assigned to him in his activities, is similar to that played by a carbon burner in relation to the electric current generated by a dynamo. The Divine power passing through him clothes itself with only a seeming individuality, while the whole course of action, the direction which it takes, and the results in which it culminates, belong to the Supreme Being. If this were true, then lying, debauchery, theft, murder were equally as worthy as truthfulness chastity, honesty, benevolence; for all would be equally manifestations of the one universal Divinity. Then a classification of conduct into two opposite categories might still be made from the standpoint of results; but the idea of moral worth, which is the very core of the moral life and the first postulate of duty, would have vanished. Hedonism of every shade-- epicurean, utilitarian, egoistic, altruistic, evolutionary--which builds on one or another form of the "greatest happiness " principle and makes pleasure and pain in discriminating norm of right and wrong, is unable to vindicate any authority for duty, or even to acknowledge the existence of moral obligation. No combination of impulses, if they are estimated from the merely biological or purely empirical standpoint, can, by any juggling of words, be converted into a moral hierarchy. The hedonist is doomed to find all his endeavour to establish the basis of the moral order terminate in "is", but never in "ought", in a fact, but never in an ideal. Lecky has neatly summed up the hedonist solution of the problem of duty: "All that is meant by saying we ought to do an action is that if we do not do it we shall suffer."

Pleasure, say the epicurean and the egoist, is the only motive of action; and actions are good or bad accordingly as they produce a surplus of pleasure over the pain, or contribute to or diminish welfare. Then, we ask, must I always pursue what seems to me the most pleasurable or the most remunerative? If the answer is yes, we are again landed in determinism. If the reply is that I can choose, but that I ought to choose what produces the most happiness, then I ask, why ought I to choose the course which produces most happiness or pleasure if I prefer to do otherwise? To this question the epicurean and the egoist have no answer. Besides, the most pleasurable conduct may be one that all reasonable men condemn as wrong, because it is injurious to some one else. Here the egoist is compelled to hand the difficulty over to the altruist. The latter endeavours to dispose of it by pointing out that the object of good conduct is not merely the agent's own happiness, but that of everybody concerned. But again, why am I bound to take into account the welfare of others? and the altruist is silent. The evolutionist of the Spencerian type intervenes with a ponderous theory that in gauging the measure in which actions produce welfare or diminish it not merely the immediate, but also and more especially, the remote results must be considered. He then proceeds to show that, as an hereditary consequence of our ancestors' experience that remote results are more important than immediate, we have come to fancy that remote results have a certain authoritativeness. Also, from unpleasant experiences of our ancestors, we inherit a tendency, when thinking of injurious actions, to think too of the external penalties which were attached to such actions. These two elements blending into one, give rise, we are told, to the feeling of moral obligation. So the common conviction that moral obligation has really any binding authority is a mere delusion. Spencer is honest enough to draw the inevitable corollary of the doctrine which is that our sense of duty and moral obligation is transitory and defined to disappear. Ethical writers of the "independent morality" schools have devised a beautifully simple way of escaping from the embarrassment of accounting for the validity of moral obligation. They ignore the subject altogether and refer the disappointed inquirer to the metaphysician. Ethics, they blandly declare, is a descriptive, not a normative science ; hence that imposing array of works professing to treat scientifically of morals, yet calmly ignoring the pivotal factor of the moral life.

HISTORIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE IDEA OF DUTY

To trace the development of the concept of duty would be to review the history of the human race . Even in the lowest races there is to be found some moral code, however, crude and erroneous. Another universal fact is that the race has, everywhere and always, placed morals under a religious or quasi-religious, sanction. The savage, in a measure corresponding to his crude moral and intellectual development, witnesses to this universal impulse by observing inumerable customs because he believes them to have some sanction higher than that of his fellow tribesmen or their chief. The great nations of antiquity, Chinese, Chaldean, Babylonlan, Egyptian, saw in their deities the source or sanction of their moral codes--at least until the religious and the moral ideal became simultaneously corrupted. In Greece and Rome, likewise religion and morals were intimately associated, until religion proved false to its trust. The same phenomenon is found in the Aryan race of India and Persia, while the Semitic peoples, especially the Jews, always continued to look to religion for the reason of their moral codes. When classic paganism had introduced among the gods the vices of men, the ancient tradition continued to be vindicated by the poets, and by some of the philosophers. The magnificent testimonies of the Greek tragic poets, of Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero to the superhuman origin of the moral law and duty need not be quoted here. But when religious tradition lost its force and philosophy became the guardian of morality a conflict of rival schools, none ot which possessed sufficient authority to make its tenets prevail with the mass of the people, was the inevitable result; and as religious faith declined, the tendency to find a non-religious basis for duty became more pronounced. The consequence was that the idea of duty faded, and systems arose, which, like our present day "independent morality", had no place for moral obligation.

The unity of the moral and religious ideal was restored and rendered perfect by Christianity. The Gospel vindicated the Divine origin of duty, and declared that its fulfilment constituted the very essence of religion. This idea has been the chief motor force to raise the Western world out of the moral chaos into which denying paganism had dragged it. The doctrine that every man is an immortal being created by God to be united with Himself in an endless existence, provided that he observe the law of righteousness, in which God's will is expressed, sets forth the dignity of man and the sacredness of duty in their full nobility. The wickedness of moral delinquency reveals itself in this, that it is a sin against the Most High--an idea scarcely known to antiquity outside the Hebrew people. The Christian religion brought out more clearly and taught with the authority of God, the code of the natural law, much of which unaided reason developed only in hesitating accents and without the anthority necessary to impose it effectively as obligatory on all. The Christian was taught that the fulfilment of duty is the one supreme concern of life to which all other interests must be made to bow and that its fulfilment is enforced by the most trementrous sanctions conceivable. The Gospel gave a satisfactory solution to the anomaly which had perplexed philosophers and misled them to erroneous doctrines concerning the meaning of the moral life. How can virtue be man's perfection, good, and end, when the fulfilment of duty means in many cases, the frustration of many natural desires and wants? The history of duty, replies the Christian, lies not all within the confines of earthly life; its ultimate goal is beyond the grave. The Christian doctrine of the Fatherhood of God and the sonship of man leads to a clearer perception of the chief duties and of their importance. Human life is seen to be a sacred, inviolable thing in ourselves and in others; woman the equal, not the slave of man ; the family is ordained of God, and its cornerstone is monogamous marriage. The State, too, is placed on a firmer basis, since Christian doctrine teaches that it draws the warrant of its existence not from force, or a more consensus of human wills, but from God. Finally, the Christian law of love correlates the outer circle of righteousness with the inner one of strict duty. Love of God becomes the adequate motive for striving after the highest personal sanctity ; love of our neighbour for the widest exercise of benevolence far beyond the limits of strict duty. In the person of the Master, Christianity offers to us the lawless Exemplar of the moral ideal, the perfect conformity of will and action to the Divine Will. His example has proved potent enough to inspire with heroic loyalty to duty "the millions who countless and nameless, the stern hard path have trod". The moral standards of our civilization have been developed and maintained by the efficiency of the Christian idea of duty. Contemporary conditions furnish unmistakable indications that these standard become debased and discredited when they are torn from the ground whence they sprang.

DUTIES

The obligation of living according to our rational nature is the parent of all particular duties. These are generally divided into three groups: (1) duties to God, (2) duties towards ourselves, and (3) duties to others.

(1) To God, the Supreme Master of the universe, our Creator, the All Holy, All Good, we owe honour, service, obedience, and love. These duties are comprehended under the general term religion . Since He is Truth itself, we owe it to Him to believe whatever He has revealed to us in a supernatural manner; to worship Him in the way which in revelation, He has taught us is most pleasing to Him; and to obey the authority which He has constituted (see CHURCH). Reverence due to Him forbids all profanity and blasphemy of Him or whatever is sacred to Him. Lying is an offence against His Divine nature, which is Truth itself. These generic duties cover all the specific duties that we owe to God, and embrace, besides, those duties which devolve upon us as members of the Catholic Church.

(2) Our duties towards ourselves may all be included under one principle: life, the goods of person, mental and physical, have been given to us in trust, with the obligation of using them to obtain our supreme good and end. Hence we may not destroy them, or abuse them as if we were independent master of them. Therefore suicide, abuse of our faculties, mental or physical, exposing our life or health to danger without a reasonable motive, are prohibited; as also are all actions incompatible with the reverence that we owe to our moral nature. We are bound to strive for the development of our intellect and for temporal goods as far as these are necessary to the fulfilment of the moral law. As duty is a debt to some one other than ourselves, we cannot, strictly speaking, use the term duties to ourselves. They are due to God ; they regard ourselves.

(3) All our duties towards others are implicitly contained in Christian precept: "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself". God wills the welfare of all men; hence the obligation of making His will the rule of mine binds me to will their welfare, and to order my conduct towards them with a due respect to the rational nature which they possess, and to the obligations which that nature imposes on them. The application of this principle gives birth to duties towards the minds and wills of others (prohibition of scandal and lying ); to the lives of others (prohibition of murder, etc.); to their good reputation (prohibition of insult, detraction, or defamation of character ).

As material goods are necessary to us in order to live according to the rational law, evidently God in imposing moral obligation wills also that we have at our disposal the means necessary to fulfil our duty. Hence arises that moral control over things which called a fight. The needs of a moral life requite that some things should be permanently under our control; hence the rights of ownership. Now a right in one person is nugatory unless others are bound to respect it. So to every right there is a corresponding duty.

Thus far we have sketched the line of duty incumbent on each one towards others as individuals. Besides these there are social duties. The primary society, the family, which is the unit of civil society, has its foundation in our nature ; and the relations which constitute it give rise to two groups of rights and correlative duties--conjugal and parental. Besides the family, a wider, broader, association of man with his fellows is needed, generally speaking, in order that he may develop his life with all its needs and potencies, in accordance with the dictates of reason. God has intended man to live in civil society, and man becomes the subject of duties and rights with regard to the society of which he is a member. The society, too, acquires a moral unity or personality which is also the by the society to impose laws which constitute a binding obligation. This right, called authority, is derived from the natural law, ultimately from God. For, since He wills civil society as a means for the due development of human nature, He wills that authority without which it cannot exist. As the lower and animals cannot be the subject of rights we do not owe them any duties; but we owe duties to God in their regard. (see ETHICS; LAW; OBLIGATIONS).

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A medieval Irish chronicler, date of birth unknown; d. 1139. Early in the twelfth century ...

David, Armand

Missionary priest and zoologist, b. 1826; d. 1900. He entered the Congregation of the Mission ...

David, Gheeraert

Son of John David, painter and illuminator, b. at Oudewater, South Holland, c. 1450, d. 13 ...

David, King

In the Bible the name David is borne only by the second king of Israel, the great-grandson of ...

David, Saint

(DEGUI, DEWI). Bishop and Confessor, patron of Wales. He is usually represented standing on ...

Davies, Venerable William

Martyr, one of the most illustrious of the priests who suffered under Queen Elizabeth, b. in ...

Dawson, Æneas McDonnell

Author, b. in Scotland, 30 July, 1810; d. in Ottawa, Canada, 29 Dec., 1894. He studied at the ...

Dax, Diocese of

An ancient French diocese which was suppressed by the Concordat of 1801, its territory now ...

Day of Atonement

( Hebrew Yom Hakkippurim . Vulgate, Dies Expiationum , and Dies Propitiationis — ...

Day, George

Bishop of Chichester ; b. in Shropshire, England, c. 1501; d. 2 August, 1556. He was graduated ...

Day, John Charles, Sir

Jurist, b. near Bath, England, 1826; d. 13 June, 1908, at Newbury. He was educated at Rome and ...

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De 133

De L'Orme, Philibert

Celebrated architect of the French Renaissance, born at Lyons, c. 1515 or a little later; died at ...

De La Croix, Charles

Missionary, b. at Hoorbeke-St-Corneille, Belgium, 28 Oct., 1792; d. at Ghent, 20 Aug., 1869. He ...

De Lisle, Ambrose Lisle March Phillipps

Born 17 March, 1809; died 5 March, 1878. He was the son of Charles March Phillipps of Garendon ...

De Paul University

DePaul University, Chicago, is the outgrowth of St. Vincent's College, which opened in Sept., ...

De Profundis

("Out of the depths"). First words of Psalm 129. The author of this Psalm is unknown; it was ...

De Rossi, Giovanni Battista

A distinguished Christian archaeologist , best known for his work in connection with the Roman ...

De Smet, Pierre-Jean

Missionary among the North American Indians , b. at Termonde (Dendermonde), Belgium, 30 Jan., ...

De Soto, Hernando

Explorer and conqueror, born at Villanueva de la Serena, Badajoz, Spain, 1496 or 1500; died on the ...

De Vere, Aubrey Thomas Hunt

Poet, critic, and essayist, b. at Curragh Chase, County Limerick, Ireland, 10 January, 1814; died ...

Deaconesses

We cannot be sure that any formal recognition of deaconesses as an institution of consecrated ...

Deacons

The name deacon ( diakonos ) means only minister or servant, and is employed in this sense ...

Dead Sea

The name given to the lake that lies on the south-eastern border of Palestine. The Old Testament ...

Dead, Prayers for the

This subject will be treated under the following three heads: I. General Statement and Proof of ...

Deaf, Education of the

Education essentially includes the process of encouraging, strengthening, and guiding the ...

Dean

(Gk. déka , ten; Latin decanus ). One of the principal administrative officials of ...

Dean, William, Venerable

Born in Yorkshire, England, date uncertain, martyred 28 August, 1588. He studied at Reims and ...

Dease, Thomas

Born in Ireland, 1568; died at Galway, 1651. He sprang from an ancient Irish family at one ...

Death Penalty

The infliction by due legal process of the penalty of death as a punishment for crime. The ...

Death, Dance of

(French, Dance Macabre , German Todtentanz ) The "Dance of Death" was originally a ...

Death, Preparation for

The basic preparation for death When should a priest be called? Winding up our earthly affairs ...

Debbora

Prophetess and judge: she was the wife of Lapidoth and was endowed by God with prophetic gifts ...

Debt

( debitum ) That which is owed or due to another; in general, anything which one person is ...

Decalogue

(Greek deka , ten and logos , word). The term employed to designate the collection of ...

Decapolis

(From Greek Deka , ten, and polis , city) Decapolis is the name given in the Bible and ...

Dechamps, Adolphe

Belgian statesman and publicist, brother of Cardinal Dechamps, born at Melle near Ghent, 17 ...

Dechamps, Victor Augustin Isidore

Cardinal, Archbishop of Mechlin, and Primate of Belgium ; born at Melle near Ghent 6 Dec., ...

Decius

(C AIUS M ESSIUS Q UINTUS T RAJANUS D ECIUS ). Roman Emperor 249-251. He was born, ...

Decker, Hans

A German sculptor of the middle of the fifteenth century. Very little is recorded concerning ...

Declaration, The Royal

This is the name most commonly given to the solemn repudiation of Catholicity which, in ...

Decorations, Pontifical

Pontifical decorations are the titles of nobility, orders of Christian knighthood and other ...

Decree

( Latin decretum , from decerno , I judge). In a general sense, an order or law made by a ...

Decretals, Papal

I. DEFINITION AND EARLY HISTORY (1) In the wide sense of the term decretalis (i.e. epistola ...

Dedication

A term which, though sometimes used of persons who are consecrated to God's service, is more ...

Dedication, Feast of the

Also called the Feast of the Machabees and Feast of Lights ( Josephus and Talmudic ...

Deduction

( Latin de ducere , to lead, draw out, derive from; especially, the function of deriving truth ...

Deer, Abbey of

A once famous Scotch monastery. According to the Celtic legend St. Columcille, his disciple ...

Defender of the Matrimonial Tie

( Defensor matrimonii ) The Defender of the Matrimonial Tie is an official whose duty is to ...

Definitions, Theological

The Vatican Council (Sess. iv, cap. iv) solemnly taught the doctrine of papal infallibility ...

Definitor (in Canon Law)

An official in secular deaneries and in certain religious orders. Among regulars, a definitor is ...

Definitors (in Religious Orders)

Generally speaking, the governing council of an order. Bergier describes them as those chosen to ...

Deger, Ernst

Historical painter, born in Bockenem, Hanover, 15 April, 1809; died in Düsseldorf, 27 ...

Degradation

( Latin degradatio ). A canonical penalty by which an ecclesiastic is entirely and ...

Deharbe, Joseph

Theologian, catechist, b. at Straburg, Alsace, 11 April, 1800; d. at Maria-Laach, 8 November, ...

Dei gratia; Dei et Apostolicæ Sedis gratia

( By the grace of God; By the grace of God and the Apostolic See ) A formulæ added ...

Deicolus, Saint

(DICHUIL) Elder brother of St. Gall, b. in Leinster, Ireland, c. 530; d. at Lure, France, 18 ...

Deism

( Latin Deus , God ). The term used to denote certain doctrines apparent in a tendency ...

Deity

( French déité ; Late Latin deitas ; Latin deue , divus , "the divine ...

Delacroix, Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène

French painter, b. at Charenton-St-Maurice, near Paris, 26 April, 1798; d. 13 August, 1863. He was ...

Delaroche, Hippolyte

(Known also as P AUL ) Painter, born at Paris, 17 July, 1797; died 4 November, 1856. A pupil ...

Delatores

( Latin for DENOUNCERS) A term used by the Synod of Elvira (c. 306) to stigmatize those ...

Delaware

Delaware, one of the original thirteen of the United States of America. It lies between ...

Delaware Indians

An important tribal confederacy of Algonquian stock originally holding the basin of the Delaware ...

Delcus

A titular see of Thrace, suffragan of Philippopolis. The Greek name of the place was Delkos or ...

Delegation

( Latin delegare ) A delegation is the commission to another of jurisdiction, which is to be ...

Delfau, François

Theologian, born 1637 at Montel in Auvergne, France ; died 13 Oct., 1676, at Landevenec in ...

Delfino, Pietro

A theologian, born at Venice in 1444; died 16 Jan., 1525. He entered the Camaldolese ...

Delilah

(Or Dalila ). Samson, sometime after his exploit at Gaza ( Judges 16:1-3 ), " loved a ...

Delille, Jacques

French abbé and litterateur , born at Aigueperse, 22 June, 1738; died at Paris, 1 May, ...

Delisle, Guillaume

Reformer of cartography, born 28 February, 1675, in Paris ; died there 25 January, 1726. His ...

Delphine, Blessed

A member of the Third Order of St. Francis, born in Provence, France, in 1284; died 26 ...

Delrio, Martin Anton

Scholar, statesman, Jesuit theologian, born at Antwerp, 17 May, 1551; died at Louvain, 19 ...

Delta of the Nile, Prefecture Apostolic of the

The Prefecture Apostolic of the Delta of the Nile is situated in the north of Egypt and ...

Deluge

Deluge is the name of a catastrophe fully described in Genesis 6:1 - 9:19 , and referred to in the ...

Demers, Modeste

An apostle of the Pacific Coast of North America, and the first Catholic missionary among most ...

Demetrius

The name of two Syrian kings mentioned in the Old Testament and two other persons in the ...

Demetrius, Saint

Bishop of Alexandria from 188 to 231. Julius Africanus, who visited Alexandria in the time of ...

Demiurge

The word means literally a public worker, demioergós, demiourgós, and was ...

Democracy, Christian

In Christian Democracy , the name and the reality have two very different histories, and ...

Demon

(Greek daimon and daimonion , Latin daemonium ). In Scripture and in Catholic ...

Demoniacs

( See also DEMONOLOGY, EXORCISM, EXORCIST, POSSESSION.) (Greek daimonikos, daimonizomenos, ...

Demonology

As the name sufficiently indicates, demonology is the science or doctrine concerning demons. ...

Dempster, Thomas

Savant, professor, author; b., as he himself states at Cliftbog, Scotland, 23 August, 1579; d. at ...

Denaut, Pierre

Tenth Bishop of Quebec, b. at Montreal, 20 July, 1743; d. at Longueuil in 1806. After studying ...

Denifle, Heinrich Seuse

( Baptized JOSEPH.) Paleographer and historian, born at Imst in the Austrian Tyrol, 16 Jan., ...

Denis, Johann Nepomuk Cosmas Michael

Bibliographer and poet, b. at Schärding, Bavaria, 27 September, 1729; d. at Vienna, 29 ...

Denis, Joseph

( Baptized JACQUES). Born 6 November, 1657, at Three Rivers , Canada ; died 25 January, ...

Denis, Saint

Bishop of Paris, and martyr. Born in Italy, nothing is definitely known of the time or place, ...

Denman, William

Publisher, b. in Edinburgh, Scotland, 17 March, 1784; d. in Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. 12 ...

Denmark

( Latin Dania ). This kingdom had formerly a much larger extent than at present. It once ...

Denonville, Seigneur and Marquis de

(JACQUES-RENE DE BRISAY, SEIGNEUR AND MARQUIS DE DENONVILLE) Born in 1638 at Denonville in the ...

Dens, Peter

Theologian, b. at Boom, near Antwerp, Belgium, 12 September, 1690; d. at Mechlin, 15 February, ...

Denunciation

Denunciation ( Latin denunciare) is making known the crime of another to one who is his ...

Denver

(D ENVERIENSIS ). A suffragan of the Archdiocese of Santa Fé, erected in 1887 and ...

Denys the Carthusian

(D ENYS VAN L EEUWEN, also L EUW or L IEUWE ). Born in 1402 in that part of the ...

Denza, Francesco

Italian meteorologist and astronomer, b. at Naples, 7 June, 1834; d. at Rome, 14 December, 1894. ...

Denzinger, Heinrich Joseph Dominicus

One of the leading theologians of the modern Catholic German school and author of the ...

Deo Gratias

("Thanks be to God "). An old liturgical formula of the Latin Church to give thanks to God ...

Deposition

A deposition is an ecclesiastical vindictive penalty by which a cleric is forever deprived of ...

Deprés, Josquin

Diminutive of "Joseph"; latinized Josquinus Pratensis . Born probably c. 1450 at ...

Derbe

A titular see of Lycaonia, Asia Minor. This city was the fortress of a famous leader of ...

Dereser, Anton

(Known also as THADDAEUS A S. ADAMO). Born at Fahr in Franconia, 3 February, 1757; died at ...

Derogation

(Latin derogatio ). The partial revocation of a law, as opposed to abrogation or the ...

Derry

DIOCESE OF DERRY (DERRIENSIS). Includes nearly all the County Derry, part of Donegal, and a ...

Derry, School of

This was the first foundation of St. Columba, the great Apostle of Scotland, and one of the three ...

Desains, Paul-Quentin

Physicist, b. at St-Quentin, France, 12 July, 1817; d. at Paris, 3 May, 1885. He made his literary ...

Desault, Pierre-Joseph

Surgeon and anatomist, b. at Magny-Vernois a small town of Franche-Comté, France, in ...

Descartes, René

(Renatus Cartesius), philosopher and scientist, born at La Haye France, 31 March, 1596; died at ...

Deschamps, Eustache

Also called M OREL , on account of his dark complexion; b. at Vertus in Champagne between 1338 ...

Deschamps, Nicolas

Polemical writer, born at Villefranche (Rhône), France, 1797; died at Aix-en-Provence, ...

Desclée, Henri and Jules

Henri (1830-); Jules (1828-1911). Natives of Belgium, founders of a monastery and a ...

Desecration

Desecration is the loss of that peculiar quality of sacredness, which inheres in places and ...

Desert

The Hebrew words translated in the Douay Version of the Bible by "desert" or "wilderness", and ...

Desertion

The culpable abandonment of a state, of a stable situation, the obligations of which one had ...

Deshon, George

Priest of the Congregation (or Institute) of St. Paul the Apostle , b. at New London, Conn., ...

Desiderius

(DAUFERIUS or DAUFAR). Born in 1026 or 1027 of a non-regnant branch of the Lombard dukes of ...

Desiderius of Cahors, Saint

Bishop, b. at Obrege (perhaps Antobroges, name of a Gaulish tribe), on the frontier of the ...

Desmarets de Saint-Sorlin, Jean

A French dramatist and novelist, born in Paris, 1595, died there, 1676. Early in life he held ...

Desolation, The Abomination of

The importance of this Scriptural expression is chiefly derived from the fact that in Matthew ...

Despair

(Latin desperare , to be hopeless.) Despair, ethically regarded, is the voluntary and ...

Despretz, César-Mansuète

Chemist and physicist, b. at Lessines, Belgium, 11 May, 1798; d. at Paris, 11 May, 1863. He ...

Desservants

The name of a class of French parish priests. Under the old regime, a priest who performed the ...

Desurmont, Achille

Ascetical writer, b. at Tourcoing, France, 23 Dec., 1828; d. 23 July, 1898. He attended first the ...

Determinism

Determinism is a name employed by writers, especially since J. Stuart Mill, to denote the ...

Detré, William

Missionary, b. in France in 1668, d. in South America, at an advanced age, date uncertain. ...

Detraction

(From Latin detrahere , to take away). Detraction is the unjust damaging of another's good ...

Detroit

(Detroitensis) Diocese established 8 March, 1838, comprises the counties of the lower ...

Deus in Adjutorium Meum Intende

"Deus in adjutorium meum intende," with the response: "Domine ad adjuvandum me festina," first ...

Deusdedit, Cardinal

Born at Todi, Italy ; died between 1097 and 1100. He was a friend of St. Gregory VII and ...

Deusdedit, Pope Saint

(Adeodatus I). Date of birth unknown; consecrated pope, 19 October (13 November), 615; d. 8 ...

Deusdedit, Saint

A native of Wessex, England, whose Saxon name was Frithona, and of whose early life nothing is ...

Deuteronomy

This term occurs in Deuteronomy 17:18 and Joshua 8:32 , and is the title of one of the five ...

Deutinger, Martin

Philosopher and religious writer, b. in Langenpreising, Bavaria, 24 March, 1815; d. at ...

Devas, Charles Stanton

Political economist, b. at Woodside, Old Windsor, England, of Protestant parents, 26 August, ...

Devereux, John C.

Born at his father's farm, The Leap, near Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, Ireland, 5 Aug., 1774; died ...

Devereux, Nicholas

Born near Enniscorthy, Ireland, 7 June, 1791; died at Utica, New York, 29 Dec., 1855, was the ...

Devil

(Greek diabolos ; Latin diabolus ). The name commonly given to the fallen angels, who are ...

Devil Worship

The meaning of this compound term is sufficiently obvious, for all must be familiar with the ...

Devil's Advocate

("Advocate of the Devil" or "Devil's Advocate"). A popular title given to one of the most ...

Devolution

( Latin devolutio from devolvere ) Devolution is the right of an ecclesiastical ...

Devoti, Giovani

Canonist, born at Rome, 11 July, 1744; died there 18 Sept., 1820. At the age of twenty he ...

Devotions, Popular

Devotion, in the language of ascetical writers, denotes a certain ardour of affection in the ...

Deymann, Clementine

Born at Klein-Stavern, Oldenburg, Germany, 24 June, 1844; died at Phoenix, Arizona, U. S. A., 4 ...

Deza, Diego

Theologian, archbishop, patron of Christopher Columbus, b. at Toro, 1444; d. 1523. Entering the ...

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Dhuoda

Wife of Bernard, Duke of Septimania. The only source of information on her life is her "Liber ...

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Di 100

Diaconicum

(Greek diakonikon ) The Diaconicum in the Greek Church is the liturgical book specifying ...

Diakovár

(Croatian, Djakovo ). See of the Bishop of the united Dioceses of Bosnia or ...

Dialectic

[Greek dialektike ( techne or methodos ), the dialectic art or method, from dialegomai ...

Diamantina

DIOCESE OF DIAMANTINA (ADAMANTINA). Located in the north of the State of Minas Geraes, Brazil, ...

Diana, Antonino

Moral theologian, born of a noble family at Palermo, Sicily, in 1586; died at Rome, 20 July, ...

Diano

(D IANENSIS ) Diocese and small city in the province of Salermo, Italy ; the ancient ...

Diario Romano

( Italian for "Roman Daybook") A booklet published annually at Rome, with papal ...

Diarmaid, Saint

Born in Ireland, date unknown; d. in 851 or 852. He was made Archbishop of Armagh in 834, but ...

Dias, Bartolomeu

A famous Portuguese navigator of the fifteenth century, discoverer of the Cape of Good Hope; ...

Diaspora

(Or DISPERSION). Diaspora was the name given to the countries (outside of Palestine) through ...

Dibon

A titular see in Palæstina Tertia. Dîbîn (Septuagint, Daibon or Debon ) ...

Dicastillo, Juan de

Theologian, b. of Spanish parents at Naples, 28 December, 1584; d. at Ingolstadt 6 March, 1653. ...

Dicconson, Edward

Titular Bishop of Malla, or Mallus, Vicar Apostolic of the English Northern District; b. 30 ...

Diceto, Ralph de

Dean of St. Paul's, London, and chronicler. The name "Dicetum" cannot be correctly connected with ...

Dichu, Saint

The son of an Ulster chieftain, was the first convert of St. Patrick in Ireland. Born in the ...

Dicuil

Irish monk and geographer, b. in the second half of the eighth century; date of death ...

Didache

(D OCTRINE OF THE T WELVE A POSTLES ) A short treatise which was accounted by some of the ...

Didacus, Saint

[Spanish = San Diego .] Lay brother of the Order of Friars Minor, date of birth uncertain; ...

Didascalia Apostolorum

A treatise which pretends to have been written by the Apostles at the time of the Council of ...

Didon, Henri

Preacher, writer, and educator, b. 17 March, 1840, at Touvet (Isère), France ; d. 13 ...

Didot

Name of a family of French printers and publishers. François Didot Son of Denis Didot, ...

Didron, Adolphe-Napoleon

Also called Didron aîné ; archaeologist; together with Viollet-le-Duc and Caumont, ...

Didymus the Blind

Didymus the Blind, of Alexandria, b. about 310 or 313; d. about 395 or 398, at the age of ...

Diego y Moreno, Francisco Garcia

First bishop of California, b. 17 Sept., 1785, at Lagos in the state of Jalisco, Mexico; d. 30 ...

Diekamp, Wilhelm

Historian, b. at Geldern, 13 May, 1854; d. at Rome, 25 Dec., 1885. Soon after his birth the ...

Diemoth

Diemoth, an old German word for the present "Demuth", the English " humility ", was the name of ...

Diepenbeeck, Abraham van

An erudite and accomplished painter of the Flemish School, b. at Bois-le-Duc in the ...

Diepenbrock, Melchior, Baron von

Cardinal and Prince-Bishop of Breslau, b. 6 January, 1798, at Boeholt in Westphalia ; d. at the ...

Dieringer, Franz Xaver

Catholic theologian, b. 22 August, 1811, at Rangeningen (Hohenzollern-Hechingen); d. 8 September, ...

Dies Irae

This name by which the sequence in requiem Masses is commonly known. They are the opening words of ...

Dietenberger, Johann

Theologian, b. about 1475 at Frankfort-on-the-Main, d. 4 Sept., 1537, at Mainz. He was educated ...

Diether of Isenburg

Archbishop and Elector of Mainz, b. about 1412; d. 7 May, 1482, at Aschaffenburg. He studied at ...

Dietrich von Nieheim

(N IEM ). Born in the Diocese of Paderborn , between 1338 and 1340; d. at Maastricht, 22 ...

Digby, George

Second Earl of Bristol, b. at Madrid, Spain, where his father, the first earl, was ambassador, ...

Digby, Kenelm Henry

Miscellaneous writer, b. in Ireland, 1800; d. at Kensington, Middlesex, England, 22 March, 1880. ...

Digby, Sir Everard

Born 16 May, 1578, died 30 Jan., 1606. Everard Digby, whose father bore the same Christian name ...

Digby, Sir Kenelm

Physicist, naval commander and diplomatist, b. at Gayhurst (Goathurst), Buckinghamshire, England, ...

Digne

(D INIA ; D INIENSIS ) Diocese comprising the entire department of the Basses Alpes; ...

Dignitary, Ecclesiastical

An Ecclesiastical Dignitary is a member of a chapter, cathedral or collegiate, possessed not only ...

Dijon

The Diocese of Dijon comprises the entire department of Côte-d'Or and is a suffragan of ...

Dillingen, University of

Located in Swabia, a district of Bavaria. Its founder was Cardinal Otto Truchsess von Waldburg, ...

Dillon, Arthur-Richard

A French prelate, b. at St-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, 1721; d. in London, 1806. The fifth son ...

Dimissorial Letters

( Latin litteræ dimissoriales , from dimittere ), letters given by an ecclesiastical ...

Dingley, Ven. Sir Thomas

Martyr, prior of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, found guilty of high treason 28 April, ...

Dinooth, Saint

(DINOTHUS, DUNAWD, DUNOD). Founder and first Abbot of Bangor Iscoed (Flintshire); flourished ...

Diocaesarea

(SEPPHORIS) (1) A titular see in Palestina Secunda. Diocaesarea is a later name of the town ...

Diocesan Chancery

That branch of administration which handles all written documents used in the official government ...

Diocese

( Latin diœcesis) A Diocese is the territory or churches subject to the jurisdiction of ...

Diocese (Supplemental List)

Pope Pius X, recognizing how necessary it is for the Church to develop in proportion to the ...

Dioclea

A titular see of Phrygia in Asia Minor . Diocleia is mentioned by Ptolemy (V, ii, 23), where ...

Diocletian

(V ALERIUS D IOCLETIANUS ). Roman Emperor and persecutor of the Church, born of parents ...

Diocletianopolis

A titular see of Palaestina Prima. This city is mentioned by Hierocles (Synecdemus, 719, 2), ...

Diodorus of Tarsus

Date of birth uncertain; d. about A.D. 392. He was of noble family, probably of Antioch. St. Basil ...

Diognetus, Epistle to

(EPISTOLA AD DIOGNETUM). This beautiful little apology for Christianity is cited by no ...

Dionysias

A titular see in Arabia. This city, which figures in the "Synecdemos" of Hierocles (723, 3) and ...

Dionysius Exiguus

The surname E XIGUUS , or "The Little", adopted probably in self-deprecation and not because he ...

Dionysius of Alexandria

(Bishop from 247-8 to 264-5.) Called "the Great" by Eusebius, St. Basil, and others, was ...

Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite

By "Dionysius the Areopagite" is usually understood the judge of the Areopagus who, as related in ...

Dionysius, Pope Saint

Date of birth unknown; d. 26 or 27 December, 268. During the pontificate of Pope Stephen ...

Dionysius, Saint

Bishop of Corinth about 170. The date is fixed by the fact that he wrote to Pope Soter (c. ...

Dioscorus

Antipope, b. at Alexandria, date unknown; d. 14 October, 530. Originally a deacon of the ...

Dioscorus

(Also written Dioscorus; Dioscurus from the analogy of Dioscuri ). Bishop of Alexandria ...

Diplomatics, Papal

The word diplomatics , following a Continental usage which long ago found recognition in ...

Diptych

(Or diptychon , Greek diptychon from dis , twice and ptyssein , to fold). A ...

Direction, Spiritual

In the technical sense of the term, spiritual direction is that function of the sacred ministry by ...

Directories, Catholic

The ecclesiastical sense of the word directory , as will be shown later, has become curiously ...

Discalced

( Latin dis , without, and calceus , shoe). A term applied to those religious congregations ...

Discernment of Spirits

All moral conduct may be summed up in the rule: avoid evil and do good. In the language of ...

Disciple

This term is commonly applied to one who is learning any art or science from one distinguished by ...

Disciples of Christ

A sect founded in the United States of America by Alexander Campbell. Although the largest ...

Discipline of the Secret

(Latin Disciplina Arcani ; German Arcandisciplin ). A theological term used to express ...

Discipline, Ecclesiastical

Etymologically the word discipline signifies the formation of one who places himself at school ...

Discussions, Religious

(CONFERENCES, DISPUTATIONS, DEBATES) Religious discussions, as contradistinguished from ...

Disibod, Saint

Irish bishop and patron of Disenberg (Disibodenberg), born c. 619; died 8 July, 700. His life was ...

Disparity of Cult

( Disparitas Cultus ) A diriment impediment introduced by the Church to safeguard the ...

Disparity of Worship

( Disparitas Cultus ) A diriment impediment introduced by the Church to safeguard the ...

Dispensation

( Latin dispensatio ) Dispensation is an act whereby in a particular case a lawful superior ...

Dispersion of the Apostles

( Latin Divisio Apostolorum ), a feast in commemoration of the missionary work of the Twelve ...

Dissen, Heinrich von

Born 18 Oct., 1415, at Osnabrück, in Westphalia ; died at Cologne, 26 Nov., 1484. After ...

Dissentis, Abbey of

A Benedictine monastery in the Canton Grisons in eastern Switzerland, dedicated to Our Lady of ...

Distraction

Distraction ( Latin distrahere , to draw away, hence to distract) is here considered in so far ...

Distributions

Distributions (from Lat. distribuere ), canonically termed disturbtiones quotidianae , are ...

Dithmar

(Thietmar). Bishop of Merseburg and medieval chronicler, b. 25 July, 975; d. 1 Dec., 1018.He ...

Dives

(Latin for rich ). The word is not used in the Bible as a proper noun; but in the Middle ...

Divination

The seeking after knowledge of future or hidden things by inadequate means. The means being ...

Divine Attributes

In order to form a more systematic idea of God, and as far as possible, to unfold the ...

Divine Charity, Daughters of

Founded at Vienna, 21 November, 1868, by Franziska Lechner (d. 1894) on the Rule of St. ...

Divine Charity, Sisters of

Founded at Besançon, in 1799, by a Vincentian Sister, and modelled on the Sisters of ...

Divine Charity, Society of

(SOCIETAS DIVINAE CHARITATIS). Founded at Maria-Martental near Kaisersesch, in 1903 by Josepth ...

Divine Compassion, Institute of the

Founded in the City of New York, USA, by the Rt. Rev. Thomas Stanislaus Preston. On 8 September ...

Divine Nature and Attributes, The

I. As Known Through Natural ReasonA. Infinity of GodB. Unity or Unicity of God C. Simplicity of ...

Divine Office

("Liturgy of the Hours" I. THE EXPRESSION "DIVINE OFFICE" This expression signifies ...

Divine Providence, Sisters of

I. SISTERS OF THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE OF ST. VINCENT DE PAUL Founded at Molsheim, in Diocese of ...

Divine Redeemer, Daughters of the

Motherhouse at Oedenburg, Hungary ; founded in 1863 from the Daughters of the Divine Saviour of ...

Divine Savior, Society of the

Founded at Rome, 8 Dec., 1881, by Johann Baptist Jordan (b. 1848 at Gartweil im Breisgau), ...

Divine Word, Society of the

(S OCIETAS V ERBI D IVINI ) The first German Catholic missionary society established. ...

Divisch, Procopius

Premonstratensian, b. at Senftenberg, Bohemia, 26 March, 1698; d. at Prenditz, Moravia, 21 ...

Divorce (in Civil Jurisprudence)

Divorce is defined in jurisprudence as "the dissolution or partial suspension by the law of ...

Divorce (in Moral Theology)

See also DIVORCE IN CIVIL JURISPRUDENCE . The term divorce ( divortium , from ...

Dixon, Joseph

Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland, born at Coalisland, Co. Tyrone, in 1806; died at Armagh, 29 ...

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Dl 1

Dlugosz, Jan

( Latin LONGINUS). An eminent medieval Polish historian, b. at Brzeznica, 1415; d. 19 May, ...

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Do 85

Dobmayer, Marian

A distinguished Benedictine theologian, born 24 October, 1753, at Schwandorf, Bavaria ; died 21 ...

Dobrizhoffer, Martin

Missionary, b. in Graz, Styria, 7 Sept., 1717; d. in Vienna, 17 July 1791. He became a Jesuit ...

Docetæ

(Greek Doketai .) A heretical sect dating back to Apostolic times. Their name is ...

Docimium

A titular see of Phrygia in Asia Minor. This city, as appears from its coins where the ...

Doctor

( Latin docere , to teach) The title of an authorized teacher. In this general sense the term ...

Doctors of the Church

( Latin Doctores Ecclesiae ) -- Certain ecclesiastical writers have received this title on ...

Doctors, Surnames of Famous

It was customary in the Middle Ages to designate the more celebrated among the doctors by ...

Doctrine of Addai

( Latin Doctrina Addoei ). A Syriac document which relates the legend of the conversion ...

Doctrine, Christian

Taken in the sense of "the act of teaching" and "the knowledge imparted by teaching", this term ...

Dogma

I. DEFINITION The word dogma (Gr. dogma from dokein ) signifies, in the writings of the ...

Dogmatic Fact

(1) Definition By a dogmatic fact , in wider sense, is meant any fact connected with a dogma ...

Dogmatic Theology

Dogmatic theology is that part of theology which treats of the theoretical truths of faith ...

Dogmatic Theology, History of

The imposing edifice of Catholic theology has been reared not by individual nations and men, ...

Dolbeau, Jean

Recollect friar, born in the Province of Anjou, France, 12 March, 1586; died at ...

Dolci, Carlo

Painter, born in Florence, Italy, 25 May, 1616; died 17 January, 1686. The grandson of a ...

Doliche

A titular see of Commagene (Augusto-Euphratesia). It was a small city on the road from ...

Dolman, Charles

Publisher and bookseller, b. at Monmouth, England, 20 Sept., 1807; d. in Paris, 31 December, ...

Dolores Mission

(Or Mission San Francisco De Asis De Los Dolores) In point of time the sixth in the chain of ...

Dolphin

( Latin delphinus ). The use of the dolphin as a Christian symbol is connected with the ...

Dome

( Latin domus , a house). An architectural term often used synonymously with cupola. ...

Domenech, Emmanuel-Henri-Dieudonne

Abbé, missionary and author, b. at Lyons, France, 4 November, 1826; d. in France, June, ...

Domenechino

Properly DOMENICO ZAMPIERI. An Italian painter, born in Bologna, 21 Oct., 1581; died in ...

Domesday Book

The name given to the record of the great survey of England made by order of William the ...

Domicile

( Latin jus domicilii , right of habitation, residence). The canon law has no independent ...

Dominic of Prussia

A Carthusian monk and ascetical writer, born in Poland, 1382; died at the monastery of St. ...

Dominic of the Mother of God

(Called in secular life D OMENICO B ARBERI ) A member of the Passionist Congregation and ...

Dominic, Saint

Founder of the Order of Preachers , commonly known as the Dominican Order ; born at Calaroga, ...

Dominical Letter

A device adopted from the Romans by the old chronologers to aid them in finding the day of the ...

Dominican Republic

(SAN DOMINGO, SANTO DOMINGO). The Dominican Republic is the eastern, and much larger ...

Dominicans

As the Order of the Friars Preachers is the principal part of the entire Order of St. Dominic, we ...

Dominici, Blessed Giovanni

(BANCHINI or BACCHINI was his family name). Cardinal, statesman and writer, born at ...

Dominis, Marco Antonio de

Dalmatian ecclesiastic, apostate, and man of science, b. on the island of Arbe, off the coast ...

Dominus Vobiscum

An ancient form of devout salutation, incorporated in the liturgy of the Church, where it is ...

Domitian

(T ITUS F LAVIUS D OMITIANUS ). Roman emperor and persecutor of the Church, son of ...

Domitilla and Pancratius, Nereus and Achilleus, Saints

The commemoration of these four Roman saints is made by the Church on 12 May, in common, and ...

Domitiopolis

A titular see of Isauria in Asia Minor. The former name of this city is unknown; it was called ...

Domnus Apostolicus

(DOMINUS APOSTOLICUS) A title applied to the pope, which was in most frequent use between the ...

Don Bosco

( Or St. John Bosco; Don Bosco.) Founder of the Salesian Society. Born of poor parents in ...

Donahoe, Patrick

Publisher, born at Munnery, County Cavan, Ireland, 17 March, 1811; died at Boston, U.S.A., 18 ...

Donatello Di Betto Bardi

(DONATO DI NICOLÒ DI BETTO BARDI) One of the great Tuscan sculptors of the ...

Donation (in Canon Law)

(IN CANON LAW) Donation , the gratuitous transfer to another of some right or thing. When it ...

Donation (in Civil Law)

(IN CIVIL JURISPRUDENCE) Donation, the gratuitous transfer, or gift ( Latin donatio ), of ...

Donation of Constantine

( Latin, Donatio Constantini ). By this name is understood, since the end of the Middle ...

Donatists

The Donatist schism in Africa began in 311 and flourished just one hundred years, until the ...

Donatus of Fiesole

Irish teacher and poet, Bishop of Fiesole, about 829-876. In an ancient collection of the ...

Donders, Peter

Missionary among the lepers, b. at Tilburg in Holland, 27 Oct., 1807; d. 14 Jan., 1887. He ...

Dongan, Thomas

Second Earl of Limerick, b. 1634, at Castletown Kildrought, now Celbridge, County Kildare, ...

Donlevy, Andrew

Educator, b. in 1694, probably in Sligo, Ireland ; date and place of death uncertain. Little ...

Donnan, Saint

There were apparently three or four saints of this name who flourished about the seventh century. ...

Donner, Georg Raphael

Austrian sculptor, b. at Essling, Austria, 25 May, 1692; d. at Vienna, 15 February, 1741. It is ...

Donnet, Ferdinand-François-Auguste

A French cardinal, b. at Bourg-Argental (Loire), 1795; d. at Bordeaux, 1882. He studied in the ...

Donoso Cortés, Juan Francesco Maria de la Saludad

Marquess of Valdegamas, author and diplomat, born 6 May, 1809, at Valle de la Serena in the ...

Donus, Pope

(Or D OMNUS ). Son of a Roman called Mauricius; he was consecrated Bishop of Rome 2 Nov., ...

Doorkeeper

(Also called DOORKEEPER. From ostiarius , Latin ostium , a door.) Porter denoted among ...

Doré, Pierre

(AURATUS) Controversialist, b. at Orléans about 1500; d. at Paris, 19 May, 1559. He ...

Dora

A titular see of Palestina Prima. The name ( Dôr ) in Semitic languages means ...

Dorchester, Abbey of

Founded in 1140 by Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln, for Canons of the Order of St. Augustine (or ...

Doria, Andrea

Genoese admiral and statesman, b. at Oneglia, Italy, 1468; d. at Genoa, 1560. His family ...

Dorman, Thomas

Theologian, b. at Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire, England, date uncertain; d. at Tournai, 1572 or ...

Dornin, Bernard

First publisher in the United States of distinctively Catholic books, b. in Ireland, 1761; d. ...

Dorothea, Saint

(1) Virgin and martyr, suffered during the persecution of Diocletian, 6 February, 311, at ...

Dorsey, Anne Hanson

Novelist, born at Georgetown, District of Columbia, U.S.A. 1815; died at Washington, 26 ...

Dorylaeum

A titular see of Phrygia Salutaris, in Asia Minor. This city already existed under the kings ...

Dositheans

Followers of Dositheus, a Samaritan who formed a Gnostic - Judaistic sect, previous to Simon ...

Dosquet, Pierre-Herman

Fourth Bishop of Quebec, b. at Liège, Flanders, 1691; d. at Paris, 1777. He studied at ...

Dossi, Giovanni

Actually named GIOVANNI DI NICOLO DI LUTERO, but also called Dosso Dossi. An Italian painter, ...

Dotti, Blessed Andrea

Born 1256, in Borgo San Sepolero, Tuscany, Italy ; d. there 31 August, 1315. He was of noble ...

Douai

(Town and University of Douai) (D OUAY, D OWAY ) The town of Douai, in the department of ...

Douay Bible

The original Douay Version, which is the foundation on which nearly all English Catholic ...

Double Altar

An altar having a double front constructed in such a manner that Mass may be celebrated on ...

Double Monasteries

Religious houses comprising communities of both men and women, dwelling in contiguous ...

Doubt

(Latin dubium, Greek aporí, French doute, German Zweifel ). A state in which the ...

Douglas, Gavin

Scottish prelate and poet, born about 1474; died 1522; he was the third son of Archibald, Fifth ...

Doutreleau, Stephen

Missionary, born in France, 11 October, 1693; date of death uncertain. He became a Jesuit ...

Dove

(Latin columba ). In Christian antiquity the dove appears as a symbol and as a Eucharistic ...

Dowdall, George

Archbishop of Armagh, b. at Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland, in 1487; d. at London, 15 August, ...

Dowdall, James

Martyr, date of birth unknown; executed for his faith at Exeter, England, 20 September, 1600. ...

Dower

( Latin doarium ; French douaire ) A provision for support during life accorded by law ...

Dower, Religious

( Latin dos religiosa ). Because of its analogy with the dower that a woman brings to ...

Down and Connor

Diocese of Down and Connor (Dunensis et Connorensis) A line drawn from Whitehouse on Belfast ...

Downside Abbey

Near Bath, Somersetshire, England, was founded at Douai, Flanders, under the patronage of ...

Doxology

In general this word means a short verse praising God and beginning, as a rule, with the Greek ...

Doyle, James Warren

Irish bishop ; b. near New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland, 1786; d. at Carlow, 1834. He belonged ...

Doyle, John

Born in Dublin, Ireland, 1797; died in London, 2 January, 1868; English portrait-painter and ...

Doyle, Richard

English artist and caricaturist, b. in London, September, 1824; d. there 11 December, 1883. The ...

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Dr 26

Drach, David Paul

Convert from Judaism, b. at Strasburg, 6 March, 1791; d. end of January, 1868, at Rome. ...

Drachma

(Gr. drachmé ), a Greek silver coin. The Greeks derived the word from drássomai, ...

Dracontius, Blossius Æmilius

A Christian poet of the fifth century. Dracontius belonged to a distinguished family of ...

Drane, Augusta Theodosia

In religion MOTHER FRANCIS RAPHAEL, O.S.D.; b. at Bromley near London, in 1823; d. at Stone, ...

Dreams, Interpretation of

There is in sleep something mysterious which seems, from the earliest times, to have impressed ...

Drechsel, Jeremias

( Also Drexelius or Drexel.) Ascetic writer, b. at Augsburg, 15 August, 1581; entered the ...

Dresden

The capital of the Kingdom of Saxony and the residence of the royal family, is situated on both ...

Dreves, Lebrecht Blücher

Poet, b. at Hamburg, Germany, 12 September, 1816; d. at Feldkirch, 19 Dec., 1870. The famous ...

Drevet Family, The

The Drevets were the leading portrait engravers of France for over a hundred years. Their fame ...

Drexel, Francis Anthony

Banker, b. at Philadelphia, U.S.A. 20 June, 1824; d. there 15 Feb., 1885. He was the oldest son ...

Drexel, Jeremias

( Also Drexelius or Drexel.) Ascetic writer, b. at Augsburg, 15 August, 1581; entered the ...

Drey, Johann Sebastian von

A professor of theology at the University of Tübingen, born 16 Oct., 1777, at Killingen, in ...

Dromore

(DROMORENSIS, and in ancient documents DRUMORENSIS) Dromore is one of the eight suffragans of ...

Drostan, Saint

(DRUSTAN, DUSTAN, THROSTAN) A Scottish abbot who flourished about A.D. 600. All that is ...

Droste-Vischering, Clemens August von

Archbishop of Cologne, born 21 Jan., 1773, at Münster, Germany ; died 19 Oct., 1845, in ...

Druidism

The etymology of this word from the Greek drous , "oak", has been a favorite one since the ...

Druillettes, Gabriel

(Or DREUILLETS) Missionary, b. in France, 29 September, 1610; d. at Quebec, 8 April, 1681. ...

Drumgoole, John C.

Priest and philanthropist, b. at Granard, Co. Longford, Ireland, 15 August, 1816; d. in New ...

Drury, Robert

Martyr (1567-1607), was born of a good Buckinghamshire family and was received into the ...

Drusilla

Drusilla, daughter of Herod Agrippa I , was six years of age at the time of her father's death ...

Drusipara

A titular see in Thracia Prima. Nothing is known of the ancient history of this town, which, ...

Druys, Jean

( Latin DRUSIUS) Thirtieth Abbot of Parc near Louvain, Belgium, b. at Cumptich, near ...

Druzbicki, Gaspar

Ascetic writer, b. at Sierady in Poland, 1589; entered the Society of Jesus, 20 August 1609; d. ...

Druzes

Small Mohammedan sect in Syria, notorious for their opposition to the Marionites, a Catholic ...

Dryburgh Abbey

A monastery belonging to the canons of the Premonstratensian Order (Norbertine or White ...

Dryden, John

Poet, dramatist, critic, and translator; b. 9 August, 1631, at Oldwinkle All Saints, ...

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Du 62

Du Cange, Charles Dufresne

Historian and philologist, b. at Amiens, France, 18 Dec., 1610; d. at Paris, 1688. His father, ...

Du Coudray, Philippe-Charles-Jean-Baptiste-Tronson

Soldier, b. at Reims, France, 8 September, 1738; d. at Philadelphia, U.S.A. 11 September, ...

Du Lhut Daniel Greysolon, Sieur

(DULUTH). Born at Saint-Germain-en-Laye about 1640; died at Montreal, 26 Feb., 1710. He first ...

Dualism

(From Latin duo , two). Like most other philosophical terms, has been employed in different ...

Dublin

(DUBLINIUM; DUBLINENSIS). Archdiocese ; occupies about sixty miles of the middle eastern coast ...

Dubois, Guillaume

A French cardinal and statesman, born at Brive, in Limousin, 1656; died at Versailles, 1723. ...

Dubois, Jean-Antoine

French missionary in India, b. in 1765 at St. Remèze (Ardèche); d. in Paris, 17 ...

Dubois, John

Third Bishop of New York, educator and missionary, b. in Paris, 24 August, 1764; d. in New ...

Dubourg, Louis-Guillaume-Valentin

Second Bishop of Louisiana and the Floridas, Bishop of Montauban, Archbishop of ...

Dubric, Saint

(DYFRIG, DUBRICIUS) Bishop and confessor, one of the greatest of Welsh saints ; d. 612. He ...

Dubuque

Archdiocese of Dubuque (Dubuquensis), established, 28 July, 1837, created an archbishopric, ...

Duc, Fronton du

(Called in Latin Ducæus.) A French theologian and Jesuit, b. at Bordeaux in 1558; ...

Duccio di Buoninsegna

Painter, and founder of the Sienese School, b. about 1255 or 1260, place not known; d. 3 August, ...

Duchesne, Philippine-Rose

Founder in America of the first houses of the society of the Sacred Heart, born at Grenoble, ...

Duckett, John, Venerable

A Martyr, probably a grandson of Venerable James Duckett , born at Underwinder, in the parish ...

Duckett, Ven. James

Martyr, b. at Gilfortrigs in the parish of Skelsmergh in Westmoreland, England, date uncertain, ...

Ducrue, Francis Bennon

Missionary in Mexico, b. at Munich, Bavaria. of French parents, 10 June 1721; d. there 30 March, ...

Dudik, Beda Franciscus

Moravian historian, b. at Kojetein near Kremsier, Moravia, 29 January, 1815; d. as abbot and ...

Duel

( Duellum , old form of bellum ). This word, as used both in the ecclesiastical and ...

Duffy, Sir Charles Gavan

Politician and author, b. at Monaghan, Ireland, 12 April, 1816; d. at Nice, France, 9 Feb., ...

Duhamel, Jean-Baptiste

A French scientist, philosopher, and theologian, b. at Vire, Normandy (now in the department of ...

Dulia

(Greek doulia ; Latin servitus ), a theological term signifying the honour paid to the ...

Duluth

DIOCESE OF DULUTH (DULUTHENSIS) Diocese, established 3 Oct., 1889, suffragan of the ...

Dumas, Jean-Baptiste

Distinguished French chemist and senator, b. at Alais, department of Gard, 14 July, 1800; d. at ...

Dumetz, Francisco

Date of birth unknown; died 14 Jan., 1811. He was a native of Mallorca (Majorca), Spain, where he ...

Dumont, Hubert-André

Belgian geologist, b. at Liège, 15 Feb., 1809; d. in the same city, 28 Feb., 1857. When ...

Dumoulin, Charles

(Or DUMOLIN; latinized MOLINAEUS). French jurist, b. at Paris in 1500; d. there 27 December, ...

Dunbar, William

Scottish poet, sometimes styled the " Chaucer of Scotland ", born c. 1460; died c. 1520(?). He ...

Dunchadh, Saint

(DUNICHAD, DUNCAD, DONATUS) Confessor, Abbot of Iona ; date of b. unknown, d. in 717. He ...

Dundrennan, Abbey of

In Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland ; a Cistercian house founded in 1142 by King David I and ...

Dunedin

(DUNEDINENSIS) Dunedin comprises the provincial district of Otago (including the Otago part, ...

Dunfermline, Abbey of

In the south-west of Fife, Scotland. Founded by King Malcolm Canmore and his queen, Margaret, ...

Dungal

Irish monk, teacher, astronomer, and poet who flourished about 820. He is mentioned in 811 as an ...

Dunin, Martin von

Archbishop of Gnesen and Posen, born 11 Nov., 1774, in the village of Wat near the city of Rawa, ...

Dunkeld

(DUNKELDENSIS) Located in Scotland, constituted, as far back as the middle of the ninth ...

Dunkers

( German tunken , to dip) A Protestant sect thus named from its distinctive baptismal rite. ...

Duns Scotus, Blessed John

Surnamed DOCTOR SUBTILIS, died 8 November, 1308; he was the founder and leader of the famous ...

Dunstan, Saint

Archbishop and confessor, and one of the greatest saints of the Anglo-Saxon Church ; b. near ...

Dupanloup, Félix-Antoine-Philibert

Bishop of Orléans, France, b. at Saint-Félix; Savoie, 2 June, 1802; d. at ...

Duperron, Jacques-Davy

A theologian and diplomat, born 25 Nov., 1556, at St-Lô (Normandy), France ; died 5 ...

Dupin, Louis Ellies

(also DU PIN) A theologian, born 17 June, 1657, of a noble family in Normandy ; died 6 ...

Dupin, Pierre-Charles-François

Known as BARON CHARLES DUPIN. A French mathematician and economist, b. at Varzy, ...

Duponceau, Peter Stephen

A jurist and linguist, b. at St-Martin de Ré, France 3 June, 1760; d. at Philadelphia, ...

Dupré, Giovanni

Sculptor, b. of remote French ancestry at Siena, 1 Mar., 1817; d. at Florence, 10 Jan., 1882. ...

Duprat, Antoine & Guillaume

(1) Antoine Duprat Chancellor of France and Cardinal, b. at Issoire in Auvergne, 17 January, ...

Dupuytren, Baron Guillaume

French anatomist and surgeon, born 6 October, 1777, at Pierre-Buffière, a small town in ...

Duquesnoy, François

(Called also FRANÇOIS FLAMAND, and in Italy IL FLAMINGO). Born at Brussels, Belgium, ...

Duran, Narcisco

Born 16 December, 1776, at Castellon de Ampurias, Catalonia, Spain ; died 1 June, 1846. He ...

Durand Ursin

A Benedictine of the Maurist Congregation, b. 20 May, 1682, at Tours ; d. 31 Aug., 1771, at ...

Durandus of Saint-Pourçain

Philosopher and theologian, b. at Saint-Pourçain, Auvergne France ; d. 13 September, ...

Durandus of Troarn

French Benedictine and ecclesiastical writer, b. about 1012, at Le Neubourg near Evreux ; d. ...

Durandus, William

(Also: Duranti or Durantis). Canonist and one of the most important medieval liturgical writers; ...

Durandus, William, the Younger

Died 1328, canonist, nephew of the famous ritualist and canonist of the same name (with whom he is ...

Durango

(DURANGUM) Archdiocese located in north-western Mexico. The see was created 28 Sept., 1620, ...

Durazzo

ARCHDIOCESE OF DURAZZO (DYRRACHIENSIS). The Archdiocese of Durazzo in Albania, situated on the ...

Durbin, Elisha John

The "Patriarch-priest of Kentucky ", born 1 February, 1800, in Madison County, in that State, of ...

Durham

Ancient Catholic Diocese of Durham (Dunelmensis). This diocese holds a unique position among ...

Durham Rite

The earliest document giving an account of liturgical services in the Diocese of Durham is the ...

Durrow, School of

( Irish Dairmagh , Plain of the Oaks) The Durrow is delightfully situated in the King's ...

Duty

The definition of the term duty given by lexicographers is: "something that is due", ...

Duvergier de Hauranne, Jean

(Or D U V ERGER ), J EAN ; also called S AINT -C YRAN from an abbey he held in ...

Duvernay, Ludger

A French-Canadian journalist and patriot, born at Verchères, Quebec, 22 January, 1799; ...

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Dw 1

Dwight, Thomas

Anatomist, b. at Boston, 1843; d. at Nahant, 8 Sept., 1911. The son of Thomas Dwight and of Mary ...

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Dy 4

Dyck, Antoon (Anthonis) Van

Usually known as S IR A NTHONY V AN D YCK . Flemish portrait-painter, b. at Antwerp, ...

Dymoke, Robert

Confessor of the Faith, date of birth uncertain; d. at Lincoln, England, 11 Sept., 1580. He ...

Dymphna, Saint

(Also known as Dympna and Dimpna). Virgin and martyr. The earliest historical account of ...

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