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Ontology

( on, ontos , being, and logos , science, the science or philosophy of being).

I. DEFINITION

Though the term is used in this literal meaning by Clauberg (1625-1665) (Opp., p. 281), its special application to the first department of metaphysics was made by Christian von Wolff (1679-1754) (Philos. nat., sec. 73). Prior to this time "the science of being" had retained the titles given it by its founder Aristotle : "first philosophy ", "theology", "wisdom". The term " metaphysics " (q.v.) was given a wider extension by Wolff, who divided "real philosophy " into general metaphysics, which he called ontology, and special, under which he included cosmology, psychology, and theodicy. This programme has been adopted with little variation by most Catholic philosophers. The subject-matter of ontology is usually arranged thus:

  • The objective concept of being in its widest range, as embracing the actual and potential, is first analyzed, the problems concerned with essence (nature) and existence, "act" and "potency" are discussed, and the primary principles -- contradiction, identity, etc. -- are shown to emerge from the concept of entity.
  • The properties coextensive with being -- unity, truth, and goodness, and their immediately associated concepts, order and beauty -- are next explained.
  • The fundamental divisions of being into the finite and the infinite, the contingent and the necessary, etc., and the subdivisions of the finite into the categories (q.v.) substance and its accidents (quantity, quality, etc.) follow in turn -- the objective -- reality of substance, the meaning of personality, the relation of accidents to substance being the most prominent topics.
  • The concluding portion of ontology is usually devoted to the concept of cause and its primary divisions -- efficient and final, material and formal --the objectivity and analytical character of the principle of causality receiving most attention.
  • Ontology is not a subjective science as Kant describes it (Ub. d. Fortschr. d. Met., 98) nor "an inferential Psychology ", as Hamilton regards it (Metaphysics, Lect. VII); nor yet a knowledge of the absolute (theology); nor of some ultimate reality whether conceived as matter or as spirit, which Monists suppose to underlie and produce individual real beings and their manifestations. Ontology is a fundamental interpretation of the ultimate constituents of the world of experience. All these constituents -- individuals with their attributes -- have factors or aspects in common. The atom and the molecule of matter, the plant, the animal, man, and God agree in this that each is a being, has a characteristic essence, an individual unity, truth, goodness, is a substance and ( God excepted) has accidents, and is or may be a cause. All these common attributes demand definition and explanation -- definition not of their mere names, but analysis of the real object which the mind abstracts and reflectively considers. Ontology is therefore the fundamental science since it studies the basal constituents and the principles presupposed by the special sciences. All the other parts of philosophy, cosmology, psychology, theodicy, ethics, even logic, rest on the foundation laid by ontology. The physical sciences -- physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics likewise, presuppose the same foundations. Nevertheless ontology is dependent in the order of analysis, though not in the order of synthesis, on these departments of knowledge ; it starts from their data and uses their information in clarifying their presuppositions and principles. Ontology is accused of dealing with the merely abstract. But all science is of the abstract, the universal, not of the concrete and individual. The physical sciences abstract the various phenomena from their individual subjects; the mathematical sciences abstract the quantity -- number and dimensions -- from its setting. Ontology finally abstracts what is left -- the essence, existence, substance, causalty, etc. It is idle to say that of these ultimate abstractions we can have no distinct knowledge. The very negation of their knowableness shows that the mind has some knowledge of that which it attempts to deny. Ontology simply endeavours to make that rudimentary knowledge more distinct and complete. There is a thoroughly developed ontology in every course of Catholic philosophy ; and to its ontology that philosophy owes its definiteness and stability, while the lack of an ontology in other systems explains their vagueness and instability.

    II. HISTORY

    It was Aristotle who first constructed a well-defined and developed ontology. In his "Metaphysics" he analyses the simplest elements to which the mind reduces the world of reality. The medieval philosophers make his writings the groundwork of their commentaries in which they not only expand and illustrate the thought, but often correct and enrich it in the light of Revelation. Notable instances are St. Thomas Aquinas and Francisco Suárez (1548-1617). The "Disputationes Metaphysicae" of the latter is the most thorough work on ontology in any language. The Aristotelean writings and the Scholastic commentaries are its groundwork and largely its substance ; but it amplifies and enriches both. The work of Father Harper mentioned below attempts to render it available for English readers. The author's untimely death, however, left the attempt far from its prospected ending. The movement of the mind towards the physical sciences -- which was largely stimulated and accelerated by Bacon -- carried philosophy away from the more abstract truth. Locke, Hume, and their followers denied the reality of the object of ontology. We can know nothing, they held, of the essence of things; substance is a mental figment, accidents are subjective aspects of an unknowable noumenon; cause is a name for a sequence of phenomena. These negations have been emphasized by Comte, Huxley, and Spencer.

    On the other hand the subjective and psychological tendencies of Descartes and his followers dimmed yet more the vision for metaphysical truth. Primary notions and principles were held to be either forms innate in the mind or results of its development, but which do not express objective reality. Kant, analysing the structure of the cognitive faculties -- perception, judgment, reasoning -- discovers in them innate forms that present to reflection aspects of phenomena which appear to be the objective realities, being, substance, cause, etc., but which in truth are only subjective views evoked by sensory stimuli. The subject matter of Ontology is thus reduced to the types which the mind, until checked by criticism, projects into the external world. Between these two extremes of Empiricism and Idealism the traditional philosophy retains the convictions of common sense and the subtle analysis of the Scholastics. Being, essence, truth, substance, accident, cause, and the rest, are words expressing ideas but standing for realities. These realities are objective aspects of the individuals that strike the senses and the intellect. They exist concretely outside of the mind, not, of course, abstractly as they are within. They are the ultimate elementary notes or forms which the mind intuitively discerns, abstracts, and reflectively analyses in its endeavour to comprehend fundamentally any object. In this reflective analysis it must employ whatever information it can obtain from empirical psychology. Until recently this latter auxiliary has been insufficiently recognized by the philosophers. The works, however, of Maher and Walker mentioned below manifest a just appreciation of the importance of psychology's cooperation in the study of ontology.

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    O 4

    O Antiphons

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    The first line of two Latin lyrics sometimes attributed to St. Francis Xavier, but of uncertain ...

    O Filii et Filiæ

    The first line of a hymn celebrating the mystery of Easter. As commonly found in hymnals ...

    O Salutaris Hostia

    (O Saving Host). The first line of the penultimate stanza of the hymn, "Verbum supernum ...

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    O' 43

    O'Braein, Tighernach

    Irish annalist and Abbot of Roscommon and Clonmacnoise, died 1088. Little is known of his ...

    O'Brien, Terence Albert

    Born at Limerick, 1600; died there, 31 October, 1651. He joined the Dominicans, receiving the ...

    O'Bruadair, David

    An Irish poet, b. about 1625, most probably in the barony of Barrymore, Co. Cork, but according ...

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    O'Conor, Charles

    Charles O'Conor was born in the city of New York, 22 January, 1804; died at Nantucket, ...

    O'Conor, Charles

    Often called "the Venerable", b. at Belanagare, Co. Roscommon, 1710; d. 1791, was descended from ...

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    (Or GLAISNE O'CULLENAN). Cistercian, Abbot of Boyle, Ireland, b. probably near Assaroe Abbey, ...

    O'Curry, Eugene

    (EOGHAN O COMHRAIDHE) An Irish scholar, born at Dunaha near Carrigaholt, Co. Clare, 1796; ...

    O'Daly, Daniel

    A diplomatist and historian, born in Kerry, Ireland, 1595; died at Lisbon, 30 June, 1662. On his ...

    O'Daly, Donogh Mór

    (In Irish Donnchadh Mór O Dálaigh ) A celebrated Irish poet, d. 1244. About ...

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    (Conchobhar O'Duibheannaigh) Bishop of Down and Connor, Ireland, b. about 1532; d. at ...

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    The first Jesuit executed by the English government; b. at Limerick in 1542, executed at ...

    O'Donovan, John

    Irish historian and antiquarian, b. at Atateemore, County Kilkenny, Ireland, 1806; d. at ...

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    Physician, inventor of intubation; b. at Cleveland, 1841; d. in New York, January 7, 1898. He was ...

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    Archbishop of Tuam, born about 1460; died at Galway, 1513. He was, according to Dr. Lynch, a ...

    O'Growney, Eugene

    Priest, patriot, and scholar, b. 25 August, 1863, at Ballyfallon, County Meath ; d. at Los ...

    O'Hagan, John

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    O'Hagan, Thomas

    First Baron of Tullyhogue, b. at Belfast, 29 May, 1812; d. 1 February, 1885. Called to the Irish ...

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    Born at Stradbally, Queen's County, Ireland, 1821; died at Sandymount, Dublin, 1905. He entered ...

    O'Hara, Theodore

    Born in Danville, Kentucky, U.S.A. 11 February, 1822; died in Guerryton, Alabama, 6 June, 1867. ...

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    Bishop of Mayo, Ireland ; d. At Kilmallock, September, 1579. He was a native of Connaught, and ...

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    (O' H I ARLAITHE ). Bishop of Ross, Ireland, d. 1579. Consecrated about 1560, he was one ...

    O'Higgins, Ambrose and Bernard

    Ambrose Bernard O'Higgins Born in County Meath, Ireland, in 1720; died at Lima, 18 March, 1810. ...

    O'Hurley, Dermond

    Archbishop of Cashel, Ireland ; died 19-29 June, 1584. His father, William O'Hurley of ...

    O'Hussey, Maelbrighte

    (Irish, Maol Brighde ua Heodhusa ; Latin, Brigidus Hossæus ). Known also as ...

    O'Leary, Arthur

    Franciscan, preacher, polemical writer, b. at Faniobbus, Iveleary, Co. Cork, Ireland, 1729; d. ...

    O'Loghlen, Michael

    Born at Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland, in 1789; died 1846. Educated at Ennis Academy, and Trinity ...

    O'Meara, Kathleen

    Novelist and biographer, b. in Dublin, 1839; d. in Paris, 10 Nov., 1888; daughter of Dennis ...

    O'Neill, Hugh

    Earl of Tyrone, b. 1550, d. Rome, 1616; he was the youngest son of Mathew, of questionable ...

    O'Neill, Owen Roe

    Born 1582; died near Cavan, 6 Nov., 1649, the son of Art O'Neill and nephew of Hugh, the great ...

    O'Queely, Malachias

    (Maolsheachlainn O Cadhla). Archbishop of Tuam, Ireland, b. in Thomond, date unknown; d. at ...

    O'Reilly, Bernard

    Historian, b. 20 Sept., 1820, in County Mayo, Ireland ; d. in New York, U.S.A. 26 April, ...

    O'Reilly, Edmund

    Archbishop of Armagh, b. at Dublin, 1616; d. at Saumur, France, 1669, was educated in Dublin ...

    O'Reilly, Edmund

    Theologian, b. in London, 30 April, 1811; d. at Dublin, 10 November, 1878. Educated at ...

    O'Reilly, Hugh

    Archbishop of Armagh, head of the Confederates of Kilkenny, b. 1580; d. on Trinity Island in ...

    O'Reilly, John Boyle

    Poet, novelist, and editor, b. at Douth Castle, Drogheda, Ireland, 24 June, 1844; d. at Hull, ...

    O'Reilly, Myles William Patrick

    Soldier, publicist, littérateur , b. near Balbriggan, Co. Dublin, Ireland, 13 March, ...

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    Soldier, b. in County Cavan, Ireland, 25 March, 1837; killed at the battle of Gettysburg, Penn., ...

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    Born in Ireland, c. 1590; died in Spain, 1660, son of Dermot O'Sullivan and nephew of Donal ...

    O'Toole, Saint Lawrence

    (L ORCAN UA T UATHAIL ; also spelled Laurence O'Toole) Confessor, born about 1128, in the ...

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    Oa 5

    Oakeley, Frederick

    Born 5 September, 1802, at Shrewsbury ; died 30 Jan., 1880, at Islington, the youngest son of ...

    Oates's Plot

    A term conventionally used to designate a "Popish Plot" which, during the reign of Charles II of ...

    Oaths

    I. NOTION AND DIVISIONS An oath is an invocation to God to witness the truth of a statement. ...

    Oaths, English Post-Reformation

    The English Reformation having been imposed by the Crown, it was natural that submission to the ...

    Oaxaca

    (Or ANTEQUERA). Situated in the southern part of the Republic of Mexico, bounded on the north ...

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    Ob 13

    Obazine, Monastery of

    Located in the Diocese of Tulle ; founded by St. Stephen of Obazine about 1134. After his ...

    Obba

    Titular see in Byzacena, northern Africa of unknown history, although mentioned by Polybius ...

    Obedience

    Obedience (Lat. obêdire, "to hearken to", hence "to obey") is the complying with a command ...

    Obedience, Religious

    Religious obedience is that general submission which religious vow to God, and voluntarily ...

    Obedientiaries

    A name commonly used in medieval times for the lesser officials of a monastery who were ...

    Oblate Sisters of Providence

    A congregation of negro nuns founded at Baltimore, Maryland, by the Rev. Jacques Hector ...

    Oblates of Mary Immaculate

    I. NAME AND ORIGIN The first members of this society, founded in 1816, were known as ...

    Oblates of St. Francis de Sales

    A congregation of priests founded originally by Saint Francis de Sales at the request of Saint ...

    Oblati, Oblatæ, Oblates

    Oblati (Oblatæ, Oblates) is a word used to describe any persons, not professed monks or ...

    Obligation

    A term derived from the Roman civil law , defined in the "Institutes" of Justinian as a "legal ...

    Obregonians

    (Or Poor Infirmarians) A small congregation of men, who professed the Rule of the Third Order ...

    Obreption

    ( Latin ob and repere , "to creep over"). A canonical term applied to a species of fraud ...

    Observatory, Vatican

    The Vatican Observatory now bears the official title, "Specola Astronomica Vaticana". To ...

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    Oc 10

    Occam, William of

    Fourteenth-century Scholastic philosopher and controversial writer, born at or near the village ...

    Occasionalism

    Occasionalism (Latin occasio ) is the metaphysical theory which maintains that finite things ...

    Occasions of Sin

    Occasions of Sin are external circumstances--whether of things or persons --which either ...

    Occleve, Thomas

    (Or Hoccleve) Little is known of his life beyond what is mentioned in his poems. He was b. ...

    Occult Art, Occultism

    Under this general term are included various practices to which special articles of the ...

    Occurrence

    (IN LITURGY) I. DEFINITION Occurrence is the coinciding or occurring of two liturgical offices ...

    Oceania, Vicariate Apostolic of Central

    The whole of Oceania had at first been entrusted by the Propaganda to the Society of the Sacred ...

    Ockham, William of

    Fourteenth-century Scholastic philosopher and controversial writer, born at or near the village ...

    Octavarium Romanum

    The Octavarium Romanum is a liturgical book which may be considered as an appendix to the Roman ...

    Octave

    I. ORIGIN It is the number seven, not eight, that plays the principal rôle in Jewish ...

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    Od 12

    Odense, Ancient See of Odense

    (OTHINIA, OTHONIENSIS.) The diocese included the islands of Fünen, Langeland, Taasinge, ...

    Odescalchi, Carlo

    Cardinal, prince, archbishop, and Jesuit, b. at Rome, 5 March, 1786; d. at Modena, 17 August, ...

    Odilia, Saint

    Patroness of Alsace, born at the end of the seventh century; died about 720. According to a ...

    Odilo, Saint

    Fifth Abbot of Cluny (q.v.), v.c. 962; d. 31 December, 1048. He was descended from the nobility ...

    Odin, John Mary

    Lazarist missionary, first Bishop of Galveston and second Archbishop of New Orleans, b. 25 ...

    Odington, Walter

    An English Benedictine, also known as WALTER OF EVESHAM, by some writers confounded with WALTER ...

    Odo of Cambrai, Blessed

    Bishop and confessor, also called ODOARDUS; born at Orléans, 1050; died at Anchin, 19 ...

    Odo of Canterbury

    Abbot of Battle, d. 1200, known as Odo Cantianus or of Kent. A monk of Christ Church, he ...

    Odo of Cheriton

    Preacher and fabulist, d. 1247. He visited Paris, and it was probably there that he gained the ...

    Odo of Glanfeuil

    (Saint-Maur-sur-Loire) Abbot, ninth-century hagiographer. He entered Glanfeuil not later than ...

    Odo, Saint

    Second Abbot of Cluny, born 878 or 879, probably near Le Mans ; died 18 November, 942. He ...

    Odo, Saint

    (Oda) Archbishop of Canterbury, d. 2 June, 959 (not in 958; recent researches showing that he ...

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    Oe 2

    Oertel, John James Maximilian

    Journalist, born at Ansbach, Bavaria, 27 April, 1811; died at Jamaica, New York, 21 August, 1882. ...

    Oettingen

    (ALTÖTTING, OETINGA) Oettingen, during the Carlovingian period a royal palace near the ...

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    Of 5

    Offa

    Offa, King of Mercia, died 29 July, 796. He was one of the leading figures of Saxon history, as ...

    Offerings

    (OBLATIONS) I. THE WORD OBLATION The word oblation , from the supine of the Latin verb ...

    Offertory

    (Offertorium.) The rite by which the bread and wine are presented (offered) to God before ...

    Office of the Dead

    I. COMPOSITION OF THE OFFICE This office, as it now exists in the Roman Liturgy, is composed of ...

    Office, Divine

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

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    Og 4

    Ogdensburg, Diocese of

    (Ogdensburgdensis). Comprises the northern towns of Herkimer and Hamilton counties, with the ...

    Oggione, Marco D'

    Milanese painter, b. at Oggionno near Milan about 1470; d. probably in Milan, 1549. This ...

    Ogilvie, John, Venerable

    Eldest son of Walter Ogilvie, of Drum, near Keith, Scotland, b. 1580; d. 10 March, 1615. Educated ...

    Ogliastra

    DIOCESE OF OGLIASTRA (OLEASTRENSIS) Diocese in the Province of Cagliari, Sardinia. It was ...

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    Oh 2

    Ohio

    The seventeenth state of the American Union, admitted on 19 Feb., 1803. It is bounded on the north ...

    Ohler, Aloys Karl

    Educationist, born at Mainz, 2 January, 1817; died there, 24 August, 1889. He attended the ...

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    Oi 3

    Oil of Saints

    (Manna Oil of Saints). An oily substance, which is said to have flowed, or still flows, from ...

    Oils, Holy

    (OLEA SACRA). Liturgical Benediction Oil is a product of great utility the symbolic ...

    Ointment in Scripture

    That the use of oily, fragrant materials to anoint the body is a custom going back to remote ...

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    Oj 1

    Ojeda, Alonso de

    Explorer; b. at Cuenca, Spain, about 1466; d. on the island of Santo Domingo , about 1508. He ...

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    Ok 2

    Okeghem, Jean d'

    Also called Okekem, Okenghem, Okegnan, Ockenheim. Contrapuntist, founder and head of the second ...

    Oklahoma

    I. GEOGRAPHY Oklahoma, the forty-sixth state to be admitted to the Union, is bounded on the north ...

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    Ol 28

    Oláh, Nicolaus

    (OLAHUS) Archbishop of Gran and Primate of Hungary, a distinguished prelate, born 10 ...

    Olaf Haraldson, Saint

    Martyr and King of Norway (1015-30), b. 995; d. 29 July, 1030. He was a son of King Harald ...

    Olba

    A titular see in Isauria, suffragan of Seleucia. It was a city of Cetis in Cilicia Aspera, ...

    Old Catholics

    The sect organised in German-speaking countries to combat the dogma of Papal Infallibility. ...

    Old Chapter, The

    The origin of the body, fomerly known as the Old Chapter, dates from 1623, when after a period of ...

    Old Hall (St. Edmund's College)

    Located near Ware, Hertfordshire, England ; founded in 1793 after the fall of the English ...

    Old Testament

    I. NAME The word "testament", Hebrew berîth , Greek diatheke , primarily signifies the ...

    Old Testament, Canon of the

    Overview The word canon as applied to the Scriptures has long had a special and consecrated ...

    Oldcorne, Ven. Edward

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    Oldenburg

    A grand duchy, one of the twenty-six federated states of the German Empire. It consists of three ...

    Oldham, Hugh

    Bishop of Exeter, b. in Lancashire, either at Crumpsell or Oldham; d. 25 June, 1519. Having ...

    Oldoini, Augustino

    Historian and bibliographer, b. 6 Jan., 1612; d. at Perugia, 23 March, 1683. He came from La ...

    Olenus

    A titular see and suffragan of Patras, in Achaia Quarta, one of the twelve primitive cities of ...

    Olesnicki, Zbigniew

    (Sbigneus) A Polish cardinal and statesman, b. in Poland, 1389; d. at Sandomir, 1 April, ...

    Olier, Jean-Jacques

    Founder of the seminary and Society of St-Sulpice, b. at Paris, 20 Sept., 1608; d. there, 2 ...

    Olinda

    Diocese in the north-east of Brazil, suffragan of San Salvador de Bahia. Erected into a vicariate ...

    Oliva

    A suppressed Cistercian abbey near Danzig in Pomerania, founded with the assistance of the ...

    Oliva, Gian Paolo

    Born at Genoa, 4 October, 1600; died at Rome, at Sant' Andrea Quirinale, 26 November, 1681. In ...

    Olivaint, Pierre

    Pierre Olivaint was born in Paris, 22 Feb., 1816. His father, a man of repute but an unbeliever, ...

    Oliver, George

    Born at Newington in Surrey in 1781; died at Exeter in 1861. After studying for some years at ...

    Olivet, Mount

    (Latin, Mons Olivertus .) Occurring also in the English Bibles as the Mount of Olives ( ...

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    A branch of the white monks of the Benedictine Order, founded in 1319. It owed its origin to ...

    Olivi, Pierre Jean

    (PETRUS JOHANNIS) A Spiritual Franciscan and theological author, born at Sérignan, ...

    Olivier de la Marche

    Chronicler and poet, b. 1426, at the Chateau de la Marche, in Franche-Comté; d. at ...

    Ollé-Laprune, Léon

    French Catholic philosopher, b. in 1839; d. at Paris, 19 Feb., 1898. Under the influence of the ...

    Olmütz

    (OLOMUCENSIS) Archdiocese in Moravia. It is probable that Christianity penetrated into ...

    Olympias, Saint

    Born 360-5; died 25 July, 408, probably at Nicomedia. This pious, charitable, and wealthy ...

    Olympus

    A titular see of Lycia in Asia Minor. It was one of the chief cities of the "Corpus Lyciacum", ...

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    Om 5

    Omaha

    (OMAHENSIS) The Diocese embraces all that part of the State of Nebraska north of the southern ...

    Ombus

    Titular see and suffragan of Ptolemais in Thebais Secunda. The city is located by Ptolemy (IV, ...

    Omer, Saint

    Born of a distinguished family towards the close of the sixth or the beginning of the seventh ...

    Omission

    (Latin omittere , to lay aside, to pass away). "Omission" is here taken to be the failure to ...

    Omnipotence

    (Latin omnipotentia , from omnia and potens , able to do all things). Omnipotence is ...

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    On 4

    Onias

    ( ’Onías ). Name of several Jewish pontiffs of the third and second centuries ...

    Ontario

    Ontario, the most populous and wealthy province of Canada, has an area of 140,000,000 acres, ...

    Ontologism

    (from on, ontos , being, and logos , science) Ontologism is an ideological system which ...

    Ontology

    ( on, ontos , being, and logos , science, the science or philosophy of being). I. ...

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    Oo 1

    Oostacker, Shrine of

    A miraculous shrine of the Blessed Virgin, and place of pilgrimage from Belgium, Holland, and ...

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    Op 8

    Opening Prayer (in the Mass)

    The name now used only for short prayers before the Epistle in the Mass, which occur again at ...

    Ophir

    Ophir, in the Bible , designates a people and a country. The people, for whom a Semitic ...

    Oporto

    (Portucalensis) Diocese in Portugal ; comprising 26 civil concelhos of the districts of ...

    Oppenordt, Gilles-Marie

    (Oppenord) Born in Paris, 1672; died there, 1742; a celebrated rococo artist, known as "the ...

    Oppido Mamertina

    Diocese ; suffragan of Reggio Calabria, Italy, famous for its prolonged resistance to Roger ...

    Optatus, Saint

    Bishop of Milevis, in Numidia, in the fourth century. He was a convert, as we gather from St. ...

    Optimism

    Optimism (Latin optimus , best) may be understood as a metaphysical theory, or as an emotional ...

    Option, Right of

    In canon law an option is a way of obtaining a benefice or a title, by the choice of the new ...

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    Or 60

    Oracle

    ( oraculum; orare , to speak). A Divine communication given at a special place through ...

    Oran

    (ORANENSIS). Diocese in Algiers, separated from the Archdiocese of Algiers, 26 July, 1866, to ...

    Orange Free State

    The Orange Free State, one of the four provinces of the Union of South Africa, lies between ...

    Orange River

    (also the PREFECTURE APOSTOLIC OF GREAT NAMAQUALAND) Located in South Africa. The vicariate was ...

    Orange, Councils of

    Two councils were held at Orange (Arausio), a town in the present department of Vaucluse in ...

    Orans

    (Orante) Among the subjects depicted in the art of the Roman catacombs one of those most ...

    Orate Fratres

    The exhortation (" Pray brethren that my sacrifice and yours be acceptable to God the Father ...

    Oratorio

    As at present understood, an Oratorio is a musical composition for solo voices, chorus, orchestra, ...

    Oratory

    (Latin oratorium , from orare , to pray ) As a general term, Oratory signifies a place ...

    Oratory of Saint Philip Neri, The

    Under this head are included the Italian, Spanish, English, and other communities, which follow ...

    Oratory, French Congregation of the

    Founded in Paris at the beginning of the seventeenth century by Cardinal Pierre de ...

    Orbellis, Nicolas d'

    Franciscan theologian and philosopher, Scotist ; born about 1400; died at Rome, 1475. He seems ...

    Orcagna

    (The conventional name in art history of A NDREA DI C IONE , also called A RCAGNUOLO or A ...

    Orcistus

    Titular see in Galatia Secunda. It is only mentioned in Peutinger's "Table". An inscription of ...

    Ordeals

    ( Iudicium Dei ; Anglo-Saxon, ordâl ; German Urteil ). Ordeals were a means of ...

    Ordericus Vitalis

    Historian, b. 1075; d. about 1143. He was the son of an English mother and a French priest who ...

    Orders, Holy

    Order is the appropriate disposition of things equal and unequal, by giving each its proper place ...

    Orders, The Military

    Including under this term every kind of brotherhood of knights, secular as well as religious, ...

    Ordinariate

    (From Ordinary ). This term is used in speaking collectively of all the various organs ...

    Ordinary

    ( Latin ordinarius , i. e., judex ) An Ordinary in ecclesiastical language, denotes any ...

    Ordines Romani

    The word Ordo commonly meant, in the Middle Ages, a ritual book containing directions for ...

    Oregon

    One of the Pacific Coast States, seventh in size among the states of the Union (1910). It received ...

    Oregon City

    (OREGONOPOLITAN). Includes that part of the state of Oregon west of the Cascade Mountains, ...

    Oremus

    Invitation to pray, said before collects and other short prayers and occurring continually in ...

    Orense

    (AURIENSIS) A suffragan of Compostela, includes nearly all of the civil Province of Orense, ...

    Oresme, Nicole

    Philosopher, economist, mathematician, and physicist, one of the principal founders of modern ...

    Organ

    (Greek organon , "an instrument") A musical instrument which consists of one or several sets ...

    Organic Articles, The

    A name given to a law regulating public worship, comprising 77 articles relative to Catholicism, ...

    Oria

    (URITANA) Oria, in the Province of Lecce [now the Province of Brindisi -- Ed. ], Apulia, ...

    Oriani, Barnaba

    Italian Barnabite and astronomer, b. at Carignano, near Milan, 17 July, 1752; d. at Milan, 12 ...

    Oriental Study and Research

    In the broadest sense of the term, Oriental study comprises the scientific investigation and ...

    Orientation of Churches

    According to Tertullian the Christians of his time were, by some who concerned themselves with ...

    Orientius

    Christian Latin poet of the fifth century. He wrote an elegiac poem ( Commonitorium ) of 1036 ...

    Oriflamme

    In verses 3093-5 of the "Chanson de Roland" (eleventh century) the oriflamme is mentioned as a ...

    Origen and Origenism

    I. LIFE AND WORK OF ORIGEN A. BIOGRAPHY Origen, most modest of writers, hardly ever alludes to ...

    Original Sin

    I. Meaning II. Principal Adversaries III. Original Sin in ScriptureIV. Original Sin in ...

    Orihuela

    DIOCESE OF ORIHUELA (ORIOLENSIS, ORIOLANA). The Diocese of Orihuela comprises all the civil ...

    Oriol, Saint Joseph

    Priest, "Thaumaturgus of Barcelona", b. at Barcelona, 23 November, 1650; d. there, 23 March, ...

    Oristano

    Diocese of Oristano (Arborensis) in Sardinia. Oristano was the capital of the giudicatura ...

    Orkneys

    A group of islands situated between 58° 41' and 59° 24' N. lat. and 2° 22' and 3° ...

    Orléans

    (AURELIANUM) This Diocese comprises the Department of Loiret, suffragan of Paris since 1622, ...

    Orléans, Councils of

    Six national councils were held at Orléans in the Merovingian period. I. — At the ...

    Orlandini, Niccolò

    Born at Florence, 1554; died 1606 at Rome, 17 May. He entered the Jesuit novitiate 7 Nov., ...

    Orley, Barent Van

    (Bernard) Painter, b. at Brussels, about 1491; d. there 6 January, 1542. He studied under ...

    Orme, Philibert de l'

    An architect, born about 1512; died 1570. His style, classical and of the more severe Italian ...

    Oropus

    Titular see, suffragan of Anazarbus in Cilicia Secunda. It never really depended on Anazarbus ...

    Orosius, Paulus

    Historian and Christian apologist ; b. probably at Bracara, now Braga, in Portugal, between 380 ...

    Orphans and Orphanages

    The death of one or both parents makes the child of the very poor a ward of the community. The ...

    Orsi, Giuseppe Agostino

    A cardinal, theologian, and ecclesiastical historian, born at Florence, 9 May, 1692, of an ...

    Orsini

    One of the most ancient and distinguished families of the Roman nobility, whose members often ...

    Orsisius

    ( Arsisios , Oresiesis-Heru-sa Ast) Egyptian monk of the fourth century; was a disciple ...

    Ortelius, Abraham

    (OERTEL) A cartographer, geographer, and archeologist, born in Antwerp, 4 April, 1527; died ...

    Orthodox Church

    The technical name for the body of Christians who use the Byzantine Rite in various languages ...

    Orthodoxy

    Orthodoxy ( orthodoxeia ) signifies right belief or purity of faith. Right belief is not ...

    Orthodoxy, Feast of

    (or SUNDAY) The first Sunday of the Great Forty days ( Lent ) in the Byzantine Calendar ...

    Orthosias

    A titular see of Phœnicia Prima, suffragan of Tyre. The city is mentioned for the first ...

    Ortolano Ferrarese

    Painter of the Ferrara School, b. in Ferrara, about 1490; d. about 1525. His real name was ...

    Orval

    (Aurea Vallis, Gueldenthal). Formerly a Cistercian abbey in Belgian Luxemburg, Diocese of ...

    Orvieto

    DIOCESE OF ORVIETO (URBEVETANA) Diocese in Central Italy. The city stands on a rugged mass of ...

    Ory, Matthieu

    Inquisitor and theologian, b. at La Caune, 1492; d. at Paris, 1557. Entering the Dominican ...

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    Os 22

    Osaka

    (Osachensis). Osaka ( Oye , great river; saka , cliff), one of the three municipal ...

    Osbald

    King of Northumbria, d. 799. Symeon of Durham (Historia Regum) tells us that when Ecfwald, a ...

    Osbaldeston, Edward, Venerable

    English martyr, b. about 1560; hanged, drawn, and quartered at York, 16 November, 1594. Son of ...

    Osbern

    Hagiographer, sometimes confused with Osbert de Clare alias Osbern de Westminster, b. at ...

    Oscott (St. Mary's College)

    In 1793, a number of the Catholic nobility and gentry of England formed a committee for the ...

    Osee

    NAME AND COUNTRY Osee (Hôsheá‘– Salvation ), son of Beeri, was one of ...

    Osimo

    DIOCESE OF OSIMO (AUXIMANA). Diocese in the Province of Ascoli Piceno, Italy. Osimo was ...

    Oslo, Ancient See of

    (ASLOIA, ASLOENSIS.) Oslo occupied part of the site of Christiania (founded 1624). After the ...

    Osma

    (OXOMENSIS) The Diocese borders Burgos and Logroño on the north, Soria and Saragossa ...

    Osmund, Saint

    Bishop of Salisbury, died 1099; his feast is kept on 4 December. Osmund held an exalted ...

    Osnabrück

    (OSNABRUGENSIS) This diocese, directly subject to the Holy See, comprises, in the Prussian ...

    Ossat, Arnaud d'

    French cardinal, diplomat, and writer, b. at Larroque-Magnoac (Gascony), 20 July, 1537; d. at ...

    Ossory, Diocese of

    (Ossoriensis.) In the Province of Leinster, Ireland, is bounded on the south by the Suir, on ...

    Ostensorium

    (From ostendere , "to show"). Ostensorium means, in accordance with its etymology, a ...

    Ostia and Velletri

    SUBURBICARIAN DIOCESE OF OSTIA AND VELLETRI (OSTIENSIS ET VELITERNENSIS). Near Rome, central ...

    Ostiensis

    Surname of LEO MARSICANUS, Benedictine chronicler, b. about 1045; d. 22 May, 1115, 1116, or ...

    Ostracine

    Titular see and suffragan of Pelusium in Augustamnica prima. Pliny (Hist. naturalis, V, xiv) ...

    Ostraka, Christian

    Inscriptions on clay, wood, metal, and other hard materials. Like papyri, they are valuable ...

    Ostrogoths

    One of the two chief tribes of the Goths, a Germanic people. Their traditions relate that the ...

    Oswald, Saint

    Archbishop of York, d. on 29 February, 992. Of Danish parentage, Oswald was brought up by his ...

    Oswald, Saint

    King and martyr ; b., probably, 605; d. 5 Aug., 642; the second of seven brothers, sons of ...

    Oswin, Saint

    King and martyr, murdered at Gilling, near Richmond, Yorkshire, England, on 20 August, 651, ...

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    Ot 16

    Otfried of Weissenburg

    He is the oldest German poet known by name, author of the "Evangelienbuch", a rhymed version of ...

    Othlo

    (OTLOH) A Benedictine monk of St. Emmeran's, Ratisbon, born 1013 in the Diocese of ...

    Othmar, Saint

    (Audomar.) Died 16 Nov., 759, on the island of Werd in the Rhine, near Echnez, Switzerland. ...

    Otho, Marcus Salvius

    Roman emperor, successor, after Galba, of Nero, b. in Rome, of an ancient Etruscan family ...

    Otranto

    ARCHDIOCESE OF OTRANTO (HYDRUNTINA). Otranto is a city of the Province of Lecce, Apulia, ...

    Ottawa, Archdiocese of

    Archdiocese of Ottawa (Ottawiensis). The Archdiocese of Ottawa, in Canada, originally ...

    Ottawa, University of

    Conducted by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate ; founded in 1848. It was incorporated in 1849 under ...

    Otto I, the Great

    Roman emperor and German king, b. in 912; d. at Memleben, 7 May, 973; son of Henry I and his ...

    Otto II

    King of the Germans and Emperor of Rome, son of Otto I and Adelaide, b. 955; d. in Rome, 7 ...

    Otto III

    German king and Roman emperor, b. 980; d. at Paterno, 24 Jan., 1002. At the age of three he was ...

    Otto IV

    German king and Roman emperor, b. at Argentau (Dept. of Orne), c. 1182; d. 19 May, 1218; son of ...

    Otto of Freising

    Bishop and historian, b. between 1111 and 1114, d. at Morimond, Champagne, France, 22 ...

    Otto of Passau

    All we know of him is in the preface of his work, in which he calls himself a member of the ...

    Otto of St. Blasien

    Chronicler, b. about the middle of the twelfth century; d. 23 July, 1223, at St. Blasien in the ...

    Otto, Saint

    Bishop of Bamberg, b. about 1060; d. 30 June, 1139. He belonged to the noble, though not ...

    Ottobeuren

    (OTTOBURA, MONASTERIUM OTTOBURANUM) Formerly a Benedictine abbey, now a priory, near ...

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    Ou 9

    Ouen, Saint

    (OWEN; DADON, Latin Audaenus ). Archbishop of Rouen, b. at Sancy, near Soissons about ...

    Our Father, The

    Although the Latin term oratio dominica is of early date, the phrase "Lord's Prayer" does not ...

    Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd

    The aim of this institute is to provide a shelter for girls and women of dissolute habits, who ...

    Our Lady of Good Counsel, Feast of

    Records dating from the reign of Paul II (1464-71) relate that the picture of Our Lady, at ...

    Our Lady of Perpetual Help

    ( Or OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP.) The picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour is painted ...

    Our Lady of Perpetual Succour

    ( Or OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP.) The picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour is painted ...

    Our Lady of the Fields, Brothers of

    A Canadian congregation founded in 1902 at St-Damien de Buckland in the Diocese of Quebec by ...

    Our Lady of the Snow

    ("Dedicatio Sanctæ Mariæ ad Nives"). A feast celebrated on 5 August to ...

    Our Lady, Help of Christians, Feast of

    The invocation Auxilium Christianorum (Help of Christians ) originated in the sixteenth ...

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    Ov 4

    Overbeck, Friedrich

    Convert and painter of religious subjects, b. at Lübeck, 3 July, 1789; d. at Rome, 12 ...

    Overberg, Bernhard Heinrich

    A German ecclesiastic and educator, born 1 May, 1754; died 9 November, 1826. Of poor parents in ...

    Overpopulation, Theories of

    Down to the end of the eighteenth century, very little attention was given to the relation between ...

    Oviedo

    (OVETENSIS) This diocese comprises the civil province of the same name (the ancient Kingdom ...

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    Ow 2

    Owen, Saint

    (OWEN; DADON, Latin Audaenus ). Archbishop of Rouen, b. at Sancy, near Soissons about ...

    Owen, Saint Nicholas

    A Jesuit lay-brother, martyred in 1606. There is no record of his parentage, birthplace, date ...

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    Ox 6

    Oxenford, John

    Dramatist, critic, translator, and song-writer, b. in London, 12 Aug., 1812; d. there 21 Feb., ...

    Oxenham, Henry Nutcombe

    An English controversialist and poet, born at Harrow, 15 Nov., 1829; died at Kensington, 23 ...

    Oxford

    Oxford, one of the most ancient cities in England, grew up under the shadow of a convent, said to ...

    Oxford Movement, The

    The Oxford Movement may be looked upon in two distinct lights. "The conception which lay at its ...

    Oxford, University of

    I. ORIGIN AND HISTORY The most extraordinary myths have at various times prevailed as to the ...

    Oxyrynchus

    Titular archdiocese of Heptanomos in Egypt. It was the capital of the district of its name, the ...

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    Oz 3

    Ozanam, Antoine-Frédéric

    Great grand-nephew of Jacques Ozanam . Born at Milan, 23 April, 1813; died at Marseilles, 8 ...

    Ozanam, Jacques

    A French mathematician, born at Bouligneux (Ain), 1640; died in Paris, 3 April, 1717. He came of a ...

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