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Probabilism

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Probabilism is the moral system which holds that, when there is question solely of the lawfulness or unlawfulness of an action, it is permissible to follow a solidly probable opinion in favour of liberty even though the opposing view is more probable.

I. STATE OF THE QUESTION

When a prohibiting law is certain, the subjects of the law are bound to abstain from performing the action which the law forbids, unless they are excused by one of the ordinary exempting causes. On the other hand, when it is certain that no law forbids an action, there is no obligation to abstain from performing it. Between these two extremes there can be varying degrees of uncertainty about the existence or cessation of a prohibiting law. There is doubt in the strict sense when the intellect neither assents nor dissents, because either there are no positive arguments for and against the law, or the arguments for and against the law are equal in strength. The opinion which favours the law, and which is technically called the safe opinion, can be more probable than the opinion which favours liberty and which still retains solid probability. Again, the opinion which favours the law can be most probable, and the opinion which favours liberty only slightly probable. In the same way the opinion which favours liberty and which is technically called the less safe opinion, can be more probable than the opposing view, or can be most probable.

In estimating the degree which is required and which suffices for solid probability, moralists lay down the general principle that an opinion is solidly probable which by reason of intrinsic or extrinsic arguments is able to gain the assent of many prudent men. All admit that extrinsic authority can have sufficient weight to make an opinion solidly probable; but there is divergence of view in estimating what number of experts is able to give an opinion this solid probability. The prevailing theory amongst Probabilists holds that if five or six theologians, notable for prudence and learning, independently adhere to an opinion their view is solidly probable, if it has not been set aside by authoritative decisions or by intrinsic arguments which they have failed to solve. Even one theologian of very exceptional authority, such as St. Alphonsus Liguori, is able to make an opinion solidly probable, as we know from the official declarations of the Holy See. All moralists agree that mere flimsy reasons are insufficient to give an opinion solid probability, and also that the support of many theologians who are mere collectors of the opinions of others is unable to give solid probability to the view which they maintain.

Non-Catholics who bring charges of laxity against the moral systems which Catholic theologians uphold, often forget that the Catholic Church, in theory and in practice, has condemned various views in favour of liberty which are based on insufficient data.

If the less safe opinion is speculatively uncertain it is unlawful to follow it in practice, until all reasonable effort has been made to remove the uncertainty, by considering the arguments on both sides and by consulting available authorities. It is unlawful, also, to act on the less safe view unless the speculative uncertainty has been changed into practical certainty that the action to be performed is lawful. The whole question at issue between different moral systems concerns the way in which the speculative uncertainty is changed into practical certainty ; each system has what is called a reflex principle of its own, by which practical certainty can be obtained that the action to be performed is lawful.

  • Rigorism , or, as it is frequently called, Tutiorism held that the less safe opinion should be most probable, if not absolutely certain, before it could be lawfully put into practice, while
  • Laxism maintained that if the less safe opinion were slightly probable it could be followed with a safe conscience.

These two views, however, never received serious support from Catholic theologians, and were formally condemned by the Holy See. At one time or another in the history of the Church three other opinions gained many adherents.

  • Some theologians, who put forward the system known as Probabiliorism , hold that the less safe opinion can be lawfully followed only when it is more probable than the safe opinion.
  • Others, upholding Æquiprobabilism , maintain that, when the uncertainty concerns the existence of a law, it is lawful to follow the less safe opinion when it has equal or almost equal probability with the safe opinion, but that, when there is question of the cessation of a law, the less safe opinion cannot lawfully be followed unless it is more probable than the safe view.
  • Others again, who adhere to Probabilism , believe that, whether there is question of the existence or of the cessation of a law, it is lawful to act on the less safe opinion if it is solidly probable, even though the safe view is certainly more probable.
  • In recent years a system known as Compensationism has tried to reconcile these three opinions by holding that not only the degree of probability attaching to various opinions must be taken into account, but also the importance of the law and the degree of utility attaching to the performance of the action whose morality is in question. The more important the law, and the smaller the degree of probability attaching to the less safe opinion, the greater must be the compensating utility which will permit the performance of the action of which the lawfulness is uncertain.
From what has so far been said it is clear that these various moral systems come into play only when the question concerns the lawfulness of an action. If the uncertainty concerns the validity of an action which must certainly be valid, it is not lawful to act on mere probability unless, indeed, this is of such a nature as to make the Church certainly supply what is needed for the validity of the act. Thus, apart from necessity, it is not lawful to act on mere probability when the validity of the sacraments is in question. Again, it is not lawful to act on mere probability when there is question of gaining an end which is obligatory, since certain means must be employed to gain a certainly required end. Hence, when eternal salvation is at stake, it is not lawful to be content with uncertain means. Moreover, the virtue of justice demands equality, and as such excludes the use of probability when the established rights of another are concerned. Consequently, if a certain debt has not been certainly paid, at least a payment pro rata dubii is required according to the prevailing view. It is evident, then, that the question which arises in connection with the moral systems has to do solely with the lawfulness or unlawfulness of an action.

II. HISTORY OF PROBABILISM

Probabilism as a moral system had no history prior to the end of the sixteenth century. Fathers, doctors and theologians of the Church at times solved cases on principles which apparently were probabilist in tendency. St. Augustine declared that marriage with infidels was not to be regarded as unlawful since it was not clearly condemned in the New Testament : "Quoniam revera in Novo Testamento nihil inde praeceptum est, et ideo aut licere creditum est, aut velut dubium derelictum" ("De Fide et Operibus", c. xix, n. 35 in "P.L.", XL, 221). St. Gregory of Nazianzus laid down, against a Novatian writer, that a second marriage was not unlawful, since the prohibition was doubtful : "Quo argumento id confirmas. Aut rem ita esse proba, aut, si id nequis, ne condemnes. Quod si res dubia est, vincat humanitas et facilitas" (Or. 39, "In sancta Lumina", n. 19 in "P.G.", XXXVI, 358). St. Thomas maintained that a precept does not bind except through the medium of knowledge : "Unde nullus ligatur per praeceptum aliquod nisi mediante scientia illius" ("De Veritate", Q. xvii, a.3); and Probabilists are accustomed to point out that knowledge implies certainty.

On the other hand many theologians were Probabiliorist in their principles before the sixteenth century. Sylvester Prierias (Opinio, s. 2), Conradus (De Contract., Q. ult), and Cajetan (Opinio) were Probabiliorists; so that Probabiliorism had gained a strong hold on theologians when Medina arrived on the scene. Bartholomew Medina , a Dominican, was the first to expound the moral system which is known as Probabilism. In his "Expositio in 1am 2ae S. Thomae" he taught that, "if an opinion is probable it is lawful to follow it, even though the opposing opinion is more probable". His system soon became the common teaching of the theologians, so that in the introduction to his "Regula Morum" Father Terill, S.J. (d. 1676) was able to say that until 1638 Catholic theologians of all schools were Probabilists. There were exceptions such as Rebellus (d. 1608), Comitolus (d. 1626), and Philalethis (d. 1642), but the great body of the theologians of the end of the sixteenth and of the first half of the seventeenth century were on the side of Medina. Amongst them were Sa (d. 1596), Toletus (d. 1596), Gregorius de Valentia (d. 1603), Bañez (d. 1604), Vasquez (d. 1604), Azor (d. 1607), Thomas Sanchez (d. 1610), Ledesma (d. 1616), Francisco Suárez (d. 1617), Lessius (d. 1623), Laymann (d. 1625), Bonacina (d. 1631), Castropalaus (d. 1633), Alvarez (d. 1635), and Ildephonsus (d. 1639).

With the rise of Jansenism and the condemnation of "Augustinus" a new phase in the history of the Probabilist controversies began. In 1653 Innocent X condemned the five propositions taken from "Augustinus", and in 1655 the Louvain theologians condemned Probabilism. Tutiorism was adopted by the Jansenists, and the Irish Jansenist theologian, Sinnichius (d. 1666), a professor of Louvain, was the foremost defender of the Rigorist doctrines. He held that it is not lawful to follow even a most probable opinion in favour of liberty. Jansenist Rigorism spread into France, and Pascal in his "Lettres Provinciales" attacked Probabilism with the vigour and grace of style which have given his letters their high place in literature. The "Lettres Provinciales" were condemned by Alexander VII in 1657, but Rigorism did not receive its final blow till the year 1690 when Alexander VIII condemned the proposition of Sinnichius: "Non licet sequi opinionem vel inter probabiles probabilissimam ".

After this condemnation a moderate form of Tutiorism was unfolded by theologians like Steyaert (d. 1701), Opstraet (d. 1720), Henricus a S. Ignatio (d. 1719), and Dens (d. 1775). During this period, dating from the middle of the seventeenth to the middle of the eighteenth century, the following were amongst the notable theologians who remained true to Probabilism : Lugo (d. 1660), Lupus (d. 1681), Cardenas (d. 1684), Deschamps (d. 1701), Lacroix (d. 1714), Sporer (d. 1714), Salmanticenses (1717-1724), Mazzotta (d. 1748).

Side by side with Probabilism and Rigorism a party held sway which favoured Laxism, and which maintained in theory or practice that a slightly probable opinion in favour of liberty could safely be followed. The principal upholders of this view were Juan Sanchez (d. 1620), Bauny (d. 1649) Leander (d. 1663), Diana (d. 1663), Tamburini (d. 1675), Caramuel (d. 1682), Moya (d. 1684). Laxism was expressly condemned by Innocent XI in 1679; and Alexander VII (1665-66), and Innocent XI (1679) condemned various propositions which savoured of Laxism.

Besides Rigorism, Probabilism, and Laxism, there was also a theory of Probabiliorism which held that it is not lawful to act on the less safe opinion unless it is more probable than the safe opinion. This view, which was in vogue before the time of Medina, was renewed in the middle of the seventeenth century, as an antidote against Laxism. Its revival was principally due to the efforts of Alexander VII and Innocent XI. In 1656 a general chapter of the Dominicans urged all members of the order to adopt Probabiliorism. Though previously Dominican theologians like Medina, Ledesma, Bañez, Alvarez, and Ildephonsus were Probabilists subsequently the Dominicans in the main were Probabiliorists. Amongst them were Mercorius (d. 1669), Gonet (d. 1681), Contenson (d. 1674), Fagnanus (d. 1678), Natalis Alexander (d. 1724), Concina (d. 1756), Billuart (d. 1757), Patuzzi (d. 1769). Probabiliorism was held by many Jesuits such as Gonzalez (d. 1705), Elizalde (d. 1678), Antoine (d. 1743), Ehrentreich (d. 1708), and Taberna (d. 1686). In 1700 the Gallican clergy, under Bossuet, accepted Probabiliorism. The Franciscans as a rule were Probabiliorists, and in 1762 a general chapter of the order, held at Mantua, ordered the members to follow Probabiliorism. In 1598 a general chapter of the Theatines adopted Probabiliorism. The Augustinians, the Carmelites, the Trinitarians, and many Benedictines were also Probabiliorists. The most notable event in the history of the controversy occurred in connection with Thyrsus Gonzalez, S.J., a professor of Salamanca, who (1670-72) wrote a work, entitled "Fundamentum Theologiae Moralis", in favour of Probabiliorism. In 1673 the book was sent to the Jesuit General Oliva, who refused permission for its publication. Innocent XI favoured Gonzalez, and in 1680 sent, through the Holy Office, a decree to the General Oliva ordering that liberty be given to the members of the order to write in favour of Probabiliorism and against Probabilism. Gonzalez was elected general of the order in 1687, but his book was not published until 1694.

During the controversies between the Probabilists and the Probabiliorists, the system known as Æquiprobabilism was not clearly brought into prominence. Æquiprobabilism holds that it is not lawful to follow the less safe opinion when the safe opinion is certainly more probable; that it is not lawful to act on the less safe opinion even when it is equally probable with the safe opinion, if the uncertainty regards the cessation of a law ; but that if the existence of the law is in question, it is lawful to follow the less safe opinion if it has equal or nearly equal probability with the safe opinion. Many of the moderate Probabilists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries foreshadowed in their writings the theory to which, in his later-days, St. Alphonsus adhered. Even Francisco Suárez, who is regarded as a typical Probabilist, said: "Major probabilitas est quaedam moralis certitudo, si excessus probabilitatis certus est (De Legibus, 1. VIII, c. 3, n. 19). In the beginning of the eighteenth century Amort. (d. 1775), Rassler (d. 1730), and Mayr (d. 1749), who are sometimes classed as moderate Probabilists, in reality defended Æquiprobabilism.

This view gained vigour and persistence from the teaching of St. Alphonsus, who began his theological career as a Probabiliorist, subsequently defended Probabilism, especially in a treatise entitled "Dissertatio scholastico-moralis pro usu moderato opinionis probabilis in concursu probabilioris" (1749, 1755), and finally, about 1762, embraced Æquiprobabilism. In a new dissertation he laid down the two propositions that it is lawful to act on the less safe opinion, when it is equally probable with the safe opinion, and that it is not lawful to follow the less safe opinion when the safe opinion is notably and certainly more probable. In the sixth edition (1767) of his "Moral Theology" he again expressed these views and indeed towards the end of his life frequently declared that he was not a Probabilist.

Probabilists sometimes hold that St. Alphonsus never changed his opinion once he had discarded Probabiliorism for Probabilism, though he changed his manner of expressing his view so as to exclude Laxist teaching and to give an indication of what must be regarded as a solidly probable opinion. As a matter of fact, as can be seen from a comparison between the "Moral Theologies" of moderate Probabilists and of Æquiprobabilists, there is little practical difference between the two systems, so far at least as the uncertainty regards the existence as distinguished from the cessation of a law. Since the time of St. Alphonsus the prevailing moral systems have been Probabilism and Æquiprobabilism. Probabiliorism has to a great extent disappeared, and even many Dominican theologians have espoused the cause of Æquiprobabilism. During the nineteenth century the principal Æquiprobabilists have been Konings, Marc, Aertnys, Ter Haar, de Caigny, Gaude, and Wouters. Quite recently Ter Haar and Wouters have been engaged in controversy with Lehmkuhl who, especially In his "Probabilismus Vindicatus" (1906) and in the eleventh edition of his "Theologia Moralis" (1910), has strongly supported the Probabilist thesis which has been accepted during the nineteenth century by the vast majority of theologians.

In late years the system of Compensationism has arisen, which holds that a compensating reason proportionate to the gravity of the law and to the degree of probability in favour of the existence of the raw, is required in order that a person might lawfully act on the less safe opinion. This theory was proposed by Mannier, Laloux, and Potton; but it has gained little support and has not yet become a rival of the old theories of Probabilism, Æquiprobabilism, or even Probabiliorism.

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III. PROBABILISM

A. Teaching of Probabilists

The central doctrine of Probabilism is that in every doubt which concerns merely the lawfulness or unlawfulness of an action it is permissible to follow a solidly probable opinion in favour of liberty, even though the opposing view is more probable. Probabilists apply their theory only when there is question merely of the lawfulness or unlawfulness of an action, because in other cases certainty might be demanded on various grounds, as happens when the validity of the sacraments, the attainment of an obligatory end, and the established rights of another are concerned. They apply their doctrine whether the doubt about the lawfulness or unlawfulness of an action be a doubt of law, or a doubt of fact which can be reduced to a doubt of law. Thus if it is solidly probable that Friday morning has not yet set in, there is a doubt of fact which can be reduced to a doubt of law as to whether it is lawful in the circumstances to take meat. They also apply their doctrine not merely to human but also to Divine and natural laws on the ground that the Divine legislator is not more exacting than a human legislator. They apply their principles whether the existence or the cessation of a law is concerned, since, in their estimation, liberty is always in possession. They also apply their doctrine even though the person whose action is in question believes that the safe opinion is the more probable opinion. If, however, he looks on the safe opinion as morally certain, he cannot lawfully use the opinion of others who differ from him. Nor can a person on the same occasion use opposing probabilities in his favour in reference to several obligations of which one or another would be certainly violated; thus a priest cannot lawfully take meat on the probability that Friday has already elapsed, and at the same time postpone the reading of Compline on the probability that Friday will not elapse for some time. Finally, Probabilists insist that the opinion in favour of liberty must be based on solid arguments and not on mere flimsy reasons which are insufficient to gain the assent of prudent men.

B. Arguments for Probabilism

(1) External arguments

(a) Probabilism, if untrue, is seriously detrimental to the spiritual life of the faithful, since it permits actions which ought to be forbidden, and the Church cannot tolerate or give approval to such a moral system. But the Church during many centuries has tolerated Probabilism, and has given it approval in the person of St. Alphonsus. Hence Probabilism is not a false system of morals. That the Church has tolerated Probabilism is shown from the numerous approved authors, who, since the time of Medina, have defended it without interference on the part of ecclesiastical authority. That the Church has given positive approval to Probabilism in the person of St. Alphonsus is proved from the fact that his works including his treatises in favour of Probabilism, received official sanction from the Decree of 18 May, 1803, the reply of the Sacred Penitentiary of 5 July, 1831 the Bull of Canonization of 26 May, 1839 and the Apostolic Letters of 7 July, 1871 (cf. Lehmkuhl, "Theologia Moralis", I, nn. 165-75).

Æquiprobabilists reply that this argument proves too much for Probabilists, since the Church has also tolerated Æquiprobabilism, and has given it positive approval in the person of St. Alphonsus, whose works in favour of Æquiprobabilism received the sanction of the Holy See in the official documents of 1803, 1831, 1839, and 1871. If Æquiprobabilism is false, it is seriously detrimental to the spiritual life of the faithful, since it imposes burdens which ought not to be imposed. Hence, if any argument can be derived for Probabilism from the toleration or approval of the Church, a similar argument can be derived therefrom for Æquiprobabilism.

(b) In interpreting her own laws the Church applies the principles of Probabilism, since amongst the rules of law in "Sexto Decretalium" we read: "Odia restringi, et favores convenit ampliari" (r. 15); "In obscuris minimum est sequendum" (r. 30); "Contra eum qui legem dicere potuit apertius, est interpretatio facienda" (r. 57); "In poenis benignior est interpretatio facienda" (r. 89). What is true of the Church is equally true of other legislators, because God is not a more exacting Legislator than His Church, nor is the State to be presumed more strict than God and the Church (cf. Tanquerey, "Theologia Moralis fundamentalis", n. 413).

Æquiprobabilists reply to this argument that when the less safe opinion is certainly less probable than the safe opinion, the former has lost solid probability and consequently cannot, so far as conscience is concerned, obtain the privileges which the Divine Legislator, the Church, and the State concede in the case of really doubtful laws. Moreover, many of these rules of law directly apply to the external forum and ought not, without due limitation, be transferred to the forum of conscience.

(2) Internal arguments

(a) A law which has not been promulgated is not a law in the full and strict sense, and does not impose an obligation. But when there is a solidly probable opinion in favour of liberty, the law has not been sufficiently promulgated, since there has not been the requisite manifestation of the mind of the legislator. Hence when there is a solidly probable opinion in favour of liberty, the law is not a law in the full and strict sense, and does not impose any obligation (cf. Lehmkuhl, "Theologia Moralis", I, nn. 176-8).

Æquiprobabilists reply that when there is a solidly probable opinion in favour of liberty, the law is probably not sufficiently promulgated, and the question remains whether a law that is probably not sufficiently promulgated imposes any obligation in conscience. It would be begging the question to assume that no obligation is imposed simply because there is a probability that the law has not been sufficiently promulgated. Moreover, if the safe opinion happens to be the true opinion, a material sin is committed by the person who, acting on probability, performs the prohibited action. But, unless the law is promulgated, a material sin cannot be committed by its violation, since promulgation is a necessary condition of a binding law (cf. McDonald, "The Principles of Moral Science ", p. 245).

(b) An obligation, concerning whose existence there is invincible ignorance, is no obligation. But, so long as there is a solidly probable opinion in favour of liberty, there is invincible ignorance about the obligation imposed by the law. Hence a law does not impose an obligation so long as the less safe opinion is solidly probable (cf. Lehmkuhl, "Theologia Moralis", I, n. 179).

Æquiprobabilists reply that there is not invincible ignorance in regard to a law when the safe opinion is also the more probable opinion, because in these circumstances a person is bound by ordinary prudence to give assent to the safe opinion. Although it is true that an obligation concerning whose existence there is invincible ignorance is no obligation, this is not true when one is compelled to give assent to an opinion as the more probable opinion (cf. Wouters, "De Minusprobabilismo", p. 121).

(c) According to the axiom: lex dubia non obligat, a doubtful law does not bind. But a law is doubtful when there is a solidly probable opinion against it. Hence it is lawful to follow a solidly probable opinion in favour of liberty (cf. Tanquerey, "Theologia Fundamentalis", n. 409).

Æquiprobabilists in reply say that the axiom lex dubia non obligat holds when the law is strictly doubtful, i.e. when the reasons for and against the law are equal or nearly equal. A fortiori the law does not bind when the safe opinion is more probable than the less safe opinion. It would, however, be begging the question to assume that the axiom holds when the less safe opinion is clearly less probable than the safe opinion.

(d) According to Æquiprobabilists, it is lawful to follow the less safe opinion, when it is more probable than the safe opinion. But they must admit that Probabilism is more probable than Æquiprobabilism, since the vast majority of theologians favour the milder view, and Æquiprobabilists do not reject external authority. Hence on their own principles they ought to admit the practical truth of Probabilism.

Æquiprobabilists reply that extrinsic authority is of no avail when the arguments on which the authority rests have been proved to be invalid; and they claim that they have proved the invalidity of the Probabilist arguments. Moreover a reflex principle is useless unless its truth is proved with certainty, since its sole utility is to change speculative uncertainty into practical certainty. But greater probability does not give certainty. Accordingly, even if Æquiprobabilists were to admit the greater probability of Probabilism, that admission would be useless for Probabilists. The case is different with Æquiprobabilism which has practical certainty, since nearly all theologians nowadays admit the lawfulness of following the less safe opinion regarding the existence of a law, when it is equally or almost equally probable with the safe opinion.

(e) Many Probabilists lay stress on a practical argument in favour of their opinion, which is derived from the difficulty of distinguishing between various grades of Probability. It is impossible in practice, especially for ordinary people, to tell when one solidly probable opinion is more probable than another solidly probable opinion. But a moral system, to be of any serious utility, must be universal, so that not merely experts in moral science but also ordinary people can utilize it. Hence the systems which demand a knowledge of the various degrees of probability must be discarded as practically useless, and Probabilism alone must be accepted as a working system.

Æquiprobabilists reply that their system merely asks, that if after due investigation it is found that the less safe opinion is notably and certainly less probable than the safe opinion, the law must be observed. The necessary investigation has frequently been already made by experts, and others, who are not experts, are safe in accepting the conclusions to which the experts adhere.

C. Arguments against Probabilism

In addition to some arguments to be explained in connection with the other modern moral systems, it is necessary to mention a few difficulties which have been urged directly against Probabilism.

(1) When the less safe opinion is notably and certainly less probable than the safe opinion, there is no true probability in favour of liberty, since the stronger destroy the force of the weaker reasons. Hence Probabilists cannot consistently maintain that it is safe in practice to act on the less safe opinion which is also the less probable.

Probabilists reply that the greater probability does not of necessity destroy the solid probability of the less probable opinion. When the foundations of the opposing probabilities are not derived from the same source, then at least the opposing arguments do not detract from one another; and even when the two probabilities are based on a consideration of the same argument, one opinion will retain probability in so far as the opposing opinion recedes from certainty.

(2) A moral system, to be of any use, must be certain, since an uncertain reflex principle cannot give practical certainty. But Probabilism is not certain, because it is rejected by all those theologians who upheld one or another of the opposing views. Hence Probabilism cannot be accepted as a satisfactory solution of the question at issue.

Probabilists reply that their system can be of no use to those who do not look on it as certainly true ; but the fact that many theologians do not accept it does not prevent its adherents from regarding it as certain, since these can and do believe that the arguments urged in its favour are insuperable.

(3) Probabilism is an easy road to Laxism, because people are often inclined to regard opinions as really probable which are based on flimsy arguments, and because it is not difficult to find five or six serious authors who approve of opinions which right-minded men consider lax. The only sure way to safeguard Catholic morals is to reject the opinion which opens the way to Laxism.

Probabilists reply that their system must be prudently employed, and that no serious danger of Laxism arises if it is recognized that an opinion is not solidly probable unless there are arguments in its favour which are sufficient to gain the assent of many prudent men. As for the authority of approved authors, it must be remembered that five or six grave authors do not give solid probability to an opinion unless they are notable for learning and prudence, and independently adhere to an opinion which has not been set aside by authoritative decisions or by unanswered arguments.

IV. MORAL SYSTEMS OPPOSED TO PROBABILISM

A. Æquiprobabilism

This system can be expressed in the three following propositions:

  • The opinions for and against the existence of a law having equal or nearly equal probabilities, it is permissible to act on the less safe opinion.
  • The opinions for and against the cessation of a law having equal or nearly equal probabilities, it is not permissible to act on the less safe opinion.
  • The safe opinion being certainly more probable than the less safe opinion, it is unlawful to follow the less safe opinion.
With the first of these propositions Probabilists agree -- but they deny the truth of the second and third propositions (cf. Marc, "Institutiones Morales", I, nn. 91-103).

Arguments for Æquiprobabilism: (1) In proof of their first proposition Æquiprobabilists quote the axiom: lex dubia non obligat . When the opposing probabilities are equal or nearly equal, the law is doubtful in the strict sense, and a doubtful law imposes no obligation in conscience. They also apply the rule: in dubio melior est conditio possidentis. When the doubt regards the existence, as distinguished from the cessation of a law, liberty is in possession and accordingly the opinion which favours liberty can be followed in practice.

(2) In proof of their second proposition, Æquiprobabilists quote the same axiom: in dubio melior est conditio possidentis. When the doubt concerns the cessation of a law, the law is in possession, and therefore the law must be observed until it is displaced by a stronger probability in favour of liberty.

Probabilists reply to this argument that liberty is always in possession, since law and obligation presuppose liberty in the subject.

(3) In proof of their third proposition Æquiprobabilists put forward various arguments, of which the following are the most forcible:

(a) A person is bound seriously to endeavour to bring his actions into harmony with objective morality. But a person who follows the less probable opinion in favour of liberty fails to observe this dictate of prudence, and consequently acts unlawfully (cf. Wouters "De Minusprobabilismo", p. 71).

Probabilists reply that this argument, if carried to its logical conclusion, would end in Rigorism, because the only way efficiently to bring our actions into perfect harmony with objective morality is to follow the safe opinion, so long as the less safe opinion has not acquired moral certainty. This is the only way of preventing all serious danger of committing material sin, and consequently is the only way of observing perfect harmony with objective morality. Since, however, Rigorism is universally condemned, the argument must be rejected, and the principles of Probabilism must be adopted which hold that it is sufficient to observe harmony with objective morality in so far as this is known with moral certainty (cf. Lehmkuhl, "Theologia Moralis", I, n. 191).

(b) On 26 June, 1680 the Holy Office, under the presidency of Innocent XI, issued, in connection with the teaching of Thyrsus Gonzalez, S.J., a Decree of which the authentic text was published 19 April 1902, by the Secretary of the Holy Office. So much controversy has recently arisen in regard to the value of decree, that it is opportune to quote the whole text:

A report having been made by Father Laurea of the contents of a letter directed by Father Thyrsus Gonzalez, S.J., to Our Most Holy Lord; the Most Eminent Lords said that the Secretary of State must write to the Apostolic Nuncio of the Spains [directing him] to signify to the said Father Thyrsus that His Holiness, having received his letter favourably, and having read it with approval, has commanded that he [Thyrsus] shall freely and fearlessly preach, teach, and defend with his pen the more probable opinion, and also manfully attack the opinion of those who assert that in a conflict of a less probable opinion with a more probable, known and estimated as such, it is allowed to follow the less probable; and to inform him that whatever he does and writes on behalf of the more probable opinion will be pleasing to His Holiness.

Let it be enjoined upon the Father General of the Society of Jesus, as by order [de ordine] of His Holiness, not only to permit the Fathers of the Society to write in favour of the more probable opinion and to attack the opinion of those who assert that in a conflict of a less probable opinion with a more probable, known and estimated as such, it is allowed to follow the less probable- but also to write to all the Universities of the Society [informing them] that it is the mind of His Holiness that whosoever chooses may freely write in favour of the more probable opinion, and may attack the aforesaid contrary [opinion]; and to order them to submit entirely to the command of His Holiness.

Æquiprobabilists say that in this Decree there is a clear expression of the mind of Innocent XI about the morality of teaching that it is permissible to act on the less safe opinion when the safe opinion is certainly more probable. The pope disapproves of this teaching, commends Father Gonzalez for his opposition to It, and orders the General of the Jesuits to allow full liberty so that anyone who pleases may write against it.

Probabilists reply that, though Innocent XI was opposed to Probabilism, his official Decree merely commanded that liberty of teaching be allowed to the members of the order. Moreover, they point out that Gonzalez was not an Æquiprobabilist, but a Probabiliorist of a strict type whom St. Alphonsus regarded as an extremist.

B. Probabiliorism

According to the teaching of Probabiliorists, it is unlawful to act on the less safe opinion unless it is also the more probable opinion. In addition to an argument derived from the Decree of Innocent XI, the principal arguments for Probabiliorism are the following:

(1) It is not lawful to follow the less safe opinion, unless it is truly and expeditely probable. But an opinion which is opposed by a more probable opinion is not truly and expeditely probable, since its arguments are annulled by more potent opposing arguments and cannot in consequence gain the assent of a prudent man. Hence it is not lawful for a person to follow the less safe opinion when he regards the safe opinion as more probable.

As has already been explained in connection with Probabilism, Probabilists maintain that the less safe opinion does not necessarily lose its solid probability because of more probable opposing arguments. This being so, the law is not certain, and consequently does not impose an obligation in regard to action, even though in regard to speculative assent it is rightly looked on as more probable.

(2) As in speculative doubt we are bound to give assent to the new which is more likely to exclude error, so in practical doubt about lawfulness we are bound to adopt the opinion which is more likely to exclude the danger of material sin. But the more probable opinion is the more likely to exclude this danger. (Consequently in practical doubt we are bound to adopt the Probabiliorist view. Probabilists reply that this argument leads to Tutiorism rather than to Probabiliorism, because the only efficacious way of excluding reasonable danger of material sin is to act on the safe opinion so long as the less safe opinion is not morally certain. Moreover, Probabiliorism would impose an intolerable burden on the consciences of timorous minds, since it would demand an investigation into the various degrees of probability, 80 as to enable a person definitely to say that one opinion is more probable than another. In view of the great diversity of opinion, which exists on many moral subjects, this definite judgment is practically impossible, especially in the case of the vast majority of men who are not experts in moral science.

C. Compensationism

This maintains that a doubtful law is not devoid of all binding force, and that there must be a compensating reason, proportionate to the probability and gravity of the law, to justify the performance of the action which is probably forbidden. This teaching is based on an analogy with an act which has two effects, one good and the other bad. It is not lawful to perform such an act unless there is a justifying cause proportionate to the evil. In the case of a doubtful law the bad effect is the danger of material sin, and the good effect is the benefit, which arises from the performance of the action which is probably forbidden. Hence in this as in the former case, a compensating cause, proportionate to the probable evil, is required to justify the performance of the action.

Probabilists reply that this moral system leads to Tutiorism, because it implies that if no compensating benefit exists, it is not lawful to perform an action so long as it certainly is not forbidden. Again, Probabilists say that the preservation of liberty is of itself a sufficient compensating reason when there is question of a law which is not certain. Finally, Probabilists are prepared to admit that, as a point of expediency though not of obligation, it is advisable to look for a compensating cause over and above the preservation of liberty when a confessor is directing penitents in the use of probable opinions. If no such compensating reason exists, the penitent can be advised, though not under pain of sin, to abstain from the performance of the action which is probably forbidden.

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Palestrina, Giovanni Pierluigi da

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A heavy, black cloth, spread over the coffin in the church at a funeral, or over the catafalque ...
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Palladius

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Palm in Christian Symbolism

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Palma Vecchio

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Palmieri, Domenico

Domenico Palmieri

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Luigi Palmieri

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Pammachius, Saint

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Pandects

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Pandulph

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Panopolis

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Panpsychism

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Pantænus

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Pantaleon, Saint

St. Pantaleon

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Pantheism

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Onofrio Panvinio

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Gregorio Panzani

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Venerable Angelo Paoli

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Papacy, The

Papacy

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Papal Arbitration

Papal Arbitration

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Papal Elections

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Papal Mint

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Papal Rescripts

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( Italian Lo Stato della Chiese ) Consists of the civil territory which for over 1000 years ...
Paphnutius

Paphnutius

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Paphos

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Papias, Saint

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Bernardus Papiensis

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Papini, Nicholas

Nicholas Papini

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Parætonium

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Paré, Ambroise

Ambroise Pare

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Parœcopolis

ParŒcopolis

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Para du Phanjas, François

Francois Para du Phanjas

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Parables

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Parabolani

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Theophrastus Paracelsus

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Paraclete

Paraclete

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Paradise, Terrestrial

The Garden of Eden

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Paraguay

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Parahyba

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Paralipomenon, Books of

Paralipomenon (Chronicles)

( Paraleipomenon ; Libri Paralipomenon ). Two books of the Bible containing a summary of ...
Parallelism

Parallelism

The balance of verse with verse, an essential and characteristic feature in Hebrew poetry. Either ...
Parallelism, Psycho-Physical

Psycho-Physical Parallelism

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Paralus

Paralus

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Parasceve

Parasceve

(Gr. paraskevé ); seems to have supplanted the older term prosábbaton , used ...
Paray-le-Monial

Paray-Le-Monial

A town of five thousand inhabitants in the Department of Sâone-Loire, Diocese of Autun , ...
Pardies, Ignace-Gaston

Ignace-Gaston Pardies

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Pardons of Brittany

Pardons of Brittany

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Paredes, Blessed Mary Anne de

Bl. Mary Anne de Paredes

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Francisco Pareja

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Parents

Parents

( Latin parere , to beget) I. DUTIES OF PARENTS TOWARDS THEIR CHILDREN In the old pagan ...
Parenzo-Pola

Parenzo-Pola

(PARENTINA-POLENSIS) The little town of Parenzo is picturesquely situated on a promontory ...
Parini, Giuseppe

Giuseppe Parini

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Paris

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Paris Commune, Martyrs of the

Martyrs of the Paris Commune

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Paris, Alexis-Paulin

Alexis-Paulin Paris

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Paris, Gaston-Bruno-Paulin

Gaston-Bruno-Paulin Paris

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Paris, Matthew

Matthew Paris

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Paris, University of

University of Paris

See also ARCHDIOCESE OF PARIS . Origin and Early Organization Three schools were especially ...
Parish

Parish

(Latin par&ligcia, parochia , Greek paroikia , a group of neighbouring dwellings). I. ...
Parium

Parium

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Park, Abbey of the

Abbey of the Park

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Parkinson, Anthony

Anthony Parkinson

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Parlais

Parlais

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Parlatore, Filippo

Filippo Parlatore

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Parma

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Located in central Italy. The city is situated on the river of the same name, an affluent of the ...
Parmentier, Antoine-Augustin

Antoine-Augustin Parmentier

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Parmigiano, Il

Il Parmigiano

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Parnassus

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Parochial Mass

Parochial Mass

The parish is established to provide the parishioners with the helps of religion, especially ...
Parochial Missions, Catholic

Catholic Parochial Missions

This term is used to designate certain special exertions of the Church's pastoral agencies, ...
Parrenin, Dominique

Dominique Parrenin

Born at Russey, near Besançon, 1 Sept., 1665; died at Pekin, 29 Sept., 1741. He entered ...
Parsis

Parsis

(PARSEES). A small community in India, adherents of the Zoroastrian religion and originally ...
Particular Judgment

Particular Judgment

A. Dogma of Particular Judgment The Catholic doctrine of the particular judgment is this: that ...
Partnership

Partnership

Partnership, an unincorporated association of two or more persons, known as partners, having for ...
Paruta, Paolo

Paolo Paruta

Venetian historian and statesman, born at Venice, 14 May, 1540; died there, 6 Dec., 1598. Of a ...
Pascal Baylon, Saint

St. Pascal Baylon

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Pascal, Blaise

Blaise Pascal

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Pasch

Passover

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Paschal Candle

Paschal Candle

The blessing of the "paschal candle ", which is a column of wax of exceptional size, usually ...
Paschal I, Pope

Pope Paschal I

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Paschal II, Pope

Pope Paschal II

(RAINERIUS). Succeeded Urban II, and reigned from 13 Aug., 1099, till he died at Rome, 21 ...
Paschal III (Antipope)

Paschal III

(GUIDO OF CREMA) The second antipope in the time of Alexander III. He was elected in 1164 ...
Paschal Lamb

Paschal Lamb

A lamb which the Israelites were commanded to eat with peculiar rites as a part of the ...
Paschal Tide

Paschal Tide

I. LITURGICAL ASPECT The fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost are called by the older ...
Paschasius Radbertus, Saint

Saint Paschasius Radbertus

Theologian, b. at Soissons, 786; d. in the Monastery of Corbie, c. 860 (the date 865 is ...
Paschasius, Saint

St. Paschasius

A deacon of the Roman Church about 500; died after 511. Almost all that is known of Paschasius ...
Passaglia, Carlo

Carlo Passaglia

Born at Lucca, 9 May, 1812; died at Turin, 12 March, 1887. He entered the Society of Jesus in ...
Passau

Passau

(PASSAVIENSIS) Located in Bavaria, suffragan of Munich-Freising, including within its ...
Passerat, Joseph, Venerable

Ven. Joseph Passerat

Born 30 April, 1772, at Joinville, France ; died 30 October, 1858. The difficulties he had to ...
Passignano, Domenico

Domenico Passignano

(known as IL CRESTI, or IL PASSIGNANO, Cresti being his family name) A Venetian painter, ...
Passion Music

Passion Music

Precisely when, in the development of the liturgy, the history of the Passion of Our Lord ...
Passion of Christ, Commemoration of the

Commemoration of the Passion of Christ

A feast kept on the Tuesday after Sexagesima. Its object is the devout remembrance and honour ...
Passion of Jesus Christ

The Passion of Christ

See also THE PASSION OF CHRIST IN THE GOSPELS . The sufferings of Our Lord, which culminated ...
Passion of Jesus Christ in the Four Gospels

The Passion of Christ (Gospel Accounts)

See also DEVOTION TO THE PASSION OF CHRIST . We have in the Gospels four separate accounts ...
Passion Offices

Passion Offices

The recitation of these offices, called also Of the Instruments of the Passion, was first granted ...
Passion Plays

Passion Plays

The modern drama does not originate in the ancient, but in the religious plays of the Middle ...
Passion Sunday

Passion Sunday

The fifth Sunday of Lent, a Sunday of the first class, not permitting the celebration of any ...
Passionei, Domenico

Domenico Passionei

A cardinal, theologian, born at Fossombrone, 2 Dec., 1682; died 5 July, 1761. Educated in the ...
Passionists

Passionists

The full title of the Passionist institute is: The Congregation of Discalced Clerks of the Most ...
Passions

Passions

By passions we are to understand here motions of the sensitive appetite in man which tend ...
Passiontide

Passiontide

The two weeks between Passion Sunday and Easter. The last week is Holy Week, while the first ...
Passos

Passos

(Or, more fully, Santos Passos ) The Portuguese name locally used to designate certain ...
Passover

Passover

Jews of all classes and ways of thinking look forward to the Passover holidays with the same ...
Pasteur, Louis

Louis Pasteur

Chemist, founder of physio-chemistry, father of bacteriology, inventor of bio-therapeutics; born ...
Pasto, Diocese of

Pasto

(PASTENSIS, PASTOPOLITANA). A Colombian see, suffragan of Popayan, from which it was separated ...
Pastor

Pastor

This term denotes a priest who has the cure of souls ( cura animarum ), that is, who is ...
Pastoral Epistles (Timothy and Titus)

Epistles to Timothy and Titus

(T HE P ASTORALS STS. TIMOTHY AND TITUS Saints Timothy and Titus were two of the most beloved ...
Pastoral Staff

Crosier

(Or PASTORAL STAFF). The crosier is an ecclesiastical ornament which is conferred on bishops ...
Pastoral Theology

Pastoral Theology

Pastoral theology is the science of the care of souls. This article will give the definition of ...
Pastoureaux, Crusade of the

Crusade of the Pastoureaux

One of the most curious of the popular movements inspired by a desire to deliver the Holy Land. ...
Patagonia

Patagonia

Patagonia is the name given to the southernmost extremity of South America. Its boundary on the ...
Patara

Patara

Titular see of Lycia, suffragan of Myra, formerly a large cornmercial town, opposite Rhodes. ...
Paten

Paten

The eucharistic vessel known as the paten is a small shallow plate or disc of precious metal upon ...
Patenson, Venerable William

Ven. William Paterson

Venerable William Patenson, English martyr , born in Yorkshire or Durham ; died at Tyburn, 22 ...
Pater Noster

Lord's Prayer

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

Mental Pathology

This subject will be considered under the following headings: I. Localization of Mental ...
Patmore, Coventry

Coventry Patmore

One of the major poets of the nineteenth century, in spite of the small bulk of his verse, born at ...
Patmos

Patmos

A small volcanic island in the Ægean Sea, off the coast of Asia Minor, to the south of Samos ...
Patras

Patras

A metropolitan see in Achaia. It was one of the twelve ancient cities of Achaia, built near ...
Patriarch

Patriarch

The word patriarch as applied to Biblical personages comes from the Septuagint version, where ...
Patriarch and Patriarchate

Patriarch and Patriarchate

Names of the highest ecclesiastical dignitaries after the pope, and of the territory they rule. ...
Patrician Brothers

Patrician Brothers

(Or BROTHERS OF SAINT PATRICK). This Brotherhood was founded by the Right Rev. Dr. Daniel ...
Patrick's Purgatory, Saint

St. Patrick's Purgatory

Lough Derg, Ireland. This celebrated sanctuary in Donegal, in the Diocese of Clogher, dates ...
Patrick, Saint

St. Patrick

Apostle of Ireland, born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387; died at ...
Patrizi, Francis Xavier

Francis Xavier Patrizi

Jesuit exegete, b. at Rome, 19 June, 1797; d. there 23 April, 1881. He was the eldest son and ...
Patrology

Patrology

Patrology, the study of the writings of the Fathers of the Church, has more commonly been known ...
Patron and Patronage

Patron and Patronage

I By the right of patronage ( ius patronatus ) is understood a determinate sum of rights ...
Patron Saints

Patron Saints

A patron is one who has been assigned by a venerable tradition, or chosen by election, as a ...
Patronage of Our Lady, Feast of the

Feast of the Patronage of Our Lady

It was first permitted by Decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, 6 May, 1679, for all the ...
Patti, Diocese of

Patti

(PACTENSIS) Patti, in the Province of Messina (Sicily), on the western shore of the gulf of ...
Paul and John, Saints

Sts. John and Paul

Martyred at Rome on 26 June. The year of their martyrdom is uncertain according to their ...
Paul I, Pope

Pope Paul I

(757-67) Date of birth unknown; died at Rome, 28 June, 767. He was a brother of Stephen II. ...
Paul II, Pope

Pope Paul II

(PIETRO BARBO) Born at Venice, 1417; elected 30 August, 1464; died 26 July, 1471; son of ...
Paul III, Pope

Pope Paul III

(A LESSANDRO F ARNESE ). Born at Rome or Canino, 29 Feb., 1468; elected, 12 Oct., 1534; ...
Paul IV, Pope

Pope Paul IV

(G IOVANNI P IETRO C ARAFFA ). Born near Benevento, 28 June, 1476; elected 23 May, ...
Paul of Burgos

Paul of Burgos

(PAUL DE SANTA MARIA; Jewish name, SOLOMON HA-LEVI) A Spanish archbishop, lord chancellor and ...
Paul of Middelburg

Paul of Middelburg

A scientist and bishop, born in 1446 at Middelburg, the ancient capital of the province of ...
Paul of Samosata

Paul of Samosata

Bishop of Antioch. Several synods, probably three, were held against him about 264-66. St. ...
Paul of the Cross, Saint

St. Paul of the Cross

Paul Francis Daneii, born at Ovada, Genoa, Italy, 3 January, 1694; died in Rome, 18 October, 1775. ...
Paul the Deacon

Paul the Deacon (Paulus Diaconus)

(Paulus Diaconus; also called Casinensis, Levita, and Warnefridi). Historian, born at ...
Paul the Hermit, Saint

Saint Paul the Hermit

There are three important versions of the Life of St. Paul: (1) the Latin version ( H ) of St. ...
Paul the Simple, Saint

St. Paul the Simple

The story of Paul, as Palladius heard it from men who had known St. Anthony, was as follows: ...
Paul V, Pope

Pope Paul V

(CAMILLO BORGHESE). Born at Rome, 17 Sept., 1550; elected 16 May, 1605; died 28 Jan., 1621. ...
Paul, Saint

St. Paul

I. PRELIMINARY QUESTIONS A. Apocryphal Acts of St. Paul Professor Schmidt has published a ...
Paul-without-the-Walls, Saint

St. Paul-Without-The-Walls

( San Paolo fuori le mura ). An abbey nullius. As early as 200 the burial place of the ...
Paula, Saint

St. Paula

Born in Rome, 347; died at Bethlehem, 404. She belonged to one of the first families of Rome. ...
Pauli, Johannes

Johannes Pauli

Born about 1455; died after 1530 in the monastery at Thann in Alsace. What little is known of ...
Paulicians

Paulicians

A dualistic heretical sect, derived originally from Manichaeism. The origin of the name ...
Paulinus a S. Bartholomaeo

Paulinus a S. Bartholomaeo

(PHILIP WESDIN). Missionary and Orientalist, b. at Hoff in Lower Austria, 25 Apr., 1748; d. ...
Paulinus II, Saint

St. Paulinus II

Born at Premariacco, near Cividale, Italy, about 730-40; died 802. Born probably of a Roman ...
Paulinus of Pella

Paulinus of Pella

Christian poet of the fifth century; b. at Pella in Macedonia, but of a Bordelaise family. He ...
Paulinus, Saint

St. Paulinus, Archbishop of York

Archbishop of York, died at Rochester, 10 October, 644. He was a Roman monk in St. Andrew's ...
Paulinus, Saint

St. Paulinus of Nola

(Pontius Meropius Anicius Paulinus). Born at Bordeaux about 354; died 22 June, 431. He ...
Paulist Fathers

Paulist Fathers

Otherwise known as the "Paulist Fathers" A community of priests for giving missions and ...
Paulists

Paulists

From the time that the abode and virtues of St. Paul the first hermit were revealed to St. ...
Paulus Diaconus

Paul the Deacon (Paulus Diaconus)

(Paulus Diaconus; also called Casinensis, Levita, and Warnefridi). Historian, born at ...
Paulus Venetus

Paulus Venatus

Theologian of the Hermits of the Order of Saint Augustine, born according to the chroniclers of ...
Pavia

Pavia

(PAPIA) Located in Lombardy, Northern Italy. It is situated in a fertile plain; the city is ...
Pavia, University of

University of Pavia

Pavia was, even in Roman times, a literary centre (Ennodius); as the capital of the Lombard ...
Pavillon, Nicolas

Nicolas Pavillon

Bishop of Alet, b. at Paris 1597; d. at Alet, 1677. He joined the community of St-Lazare, ...
Pax

Pax

(Osculatorium, Tabula Pacis, Lapis Pacis). A tablet to be kissed. The primitive usage in the ...
Pax in the Liturgy

Pax in the Liturgy

Pax vobis (or vobiscum ), like the other liturgical salutations (e.g. Dominus vobiscum ), ...
Payeras, Mariano

Mariano Payeras

Born 10 Oct., 1769, at Inca, Island of Majorca; died 28 April, 1823. He received the habit of St. ...
Payne, Blessed John

Bl. John Payne

Born in the Diocese of Peterborough ; died at Chelmsford, 2 April, 1582. He went to Douai in ...
Peña, Francisco

Francisco Pena

(PEGNA) A canonist, born at Villaroya de los Pinares, near Saragossa, about 1540; died at ...
Peñalver y Cardenas, Luis Ignatius

Luis Ignatius Penalver y Cardenas

Bishop of New Orleans, Archbishop of Guatemala, son of a wealthy and noble family ; born ...
Peace Congresses

Peace Congresses

I. EARLY HISTORY The genesis of the idea of a meeting of representatives of different nations ...
Peace of the Church

Peace of the Church

This is the designation usually applied to the condition of the Church after the publication at ...
Peasants, War of the (1524-25)

War of the Peasants

A revolt of the peasants of southern and central Germany, the causes of which are disputed as a ...
Peba Indians

Peba Indians

(Or Peva ) The principal of a small group of cognate tribes, comprising the Peba proper, ...
Pecham, John

John Pecham

(PECCHAM) Archbishop of Canterbury, born about 1240; died 6 December, 1292. His birthplace ...
Pecock, Reginald

Reginald Pecock

(PEACOCK) Bishop of Chichester, born in North Wales about 1395; died at Thorney Abbey about ...
Pectoral

Pectoral

("Pectoral of judgment"). The original meaning of the Hebrew term has been lost, and little ...
Pectorale

Pectorale

( Crux Pectoralis ). The name of the cross used by the pope, cardinals, bishops, abbots, ...
Pectorius of Autun

Pectorius of Autun

The name with which the important document frequently known as the Inscription of Autun ...
Pednelissus

Pednelissus

(Petnelissus). A titular see in Pamphylia Secunda, suffragan of Perge. In ancient times ...
Pedro de Cordova

Pedro de Cordova

Born at Cordova, Andalusia, Spain, about 1460; died on the Island of Santo Domingo, 1525. He ...
Pelagia

Pelagia

The name of several saints. The old Syrian martyrology gives the feast of a St. Pelagia of ...
Pelagius and Pelagianism

Pelagius and Pelagianism

Pelagianism received its name from Pelagius and designates a heresy of the fifth century, which ...
Pelagius I, Pope

Pope Pelagius I

Date of birth unknown; died 3 March, 561, was a Roman of noble family ; his father, John, seems ...
Pelagius II, Pope

Pelagius II

The date of whose birth is unknown, seemingly a native of Rome, but of Gothic descent, as his ...
Pelargus, Ambrose

Ambrose Pelargus

Theologian, born at Nidda, Hesse, about 1488; died at Trier, 1557. Stork (Greek Pelargon , ...
Pelisson-Fontanier, Paul

Paul Pelisson-Fontanier

French writer, born at Béziers in 1624 of Protestant parents ; died at Versailles, 7 ...
Pella

Pella

A titular see and suffragan of Scythopolis in Palaestina Secunda. According to Stephanus ...
Pelletier, Pierre-Joseph

Pierre-Joseph Pelletier

Born in Paris, 22 March, 1788; died there, 19 July, 1842. His father, Bertrand Pelletier, a ...
Pellico, Silvio

Silvio Pellico

Italian author and patriot, born at Saluzzio, Italy, 24 June, 1788; died at Turin 31 Jan., ...
Pellissier, Guillaume

Guillaume Pellissier

(PELLICIER) Born at Melgueil in Languedoc, about 1490; died at the castle of Montferraud, ...
Pelotas

Pelotas

(PELOTASENSIS) Located in Brazil, suffragan to Porto Alegre. By a decree of Pius X, dated ...
Pelouze, Théophile-Jules

Theophile-Jules Pelouze

Scientist, b. at Valognes, La Manche, 26 Feb., 1807; d. in Paris, 31 May or 1 June, 1867. He began ...
Peltrie, Madeleine de la

Madeleine de la Peltrie

née CHAUVIGNY A French noblewoman, and foundress, born at Caen, 1603; died at Quebec, ...
Pelusium

Pelusium

A titular metropolitan see of Augustamnica Prima in Egypt, mentioned in Ezech., xxx, 15 sq., ...
Pembroke

Pembroke

(PEMBROKIENSIS) A suffragan of Ottawa, in Canada. The town of Pembroke has a beautiful ...
Penal Laws

Penal Laws

This article treats of the penal legislation affecting Catholics in English-speaking countries ...
Penance (as a Virtue)

Penance (as a Virtue)

Penance ( poenitentia ) designates (1) a virtue ; (2) a sacrament of the New Law; (3) a ...
Penance, Sacrament of

The Sacrament of Penance

Penance is a sacrament of the New Law instituted by Christ in which forgiveness of sins ...
Pendleton, Henry

Henry Pendleton

Controversialist, born at Manchester ; died in London, September, 1557; educated at Brasenose ...
Penelakut Indians

Penelakut Indians

A small tribe of Salishan stock, speaking a dialect of the Cowichan language and occupying a ...
Penitentes, Los Hermanos

Los Hermanos Penitentes

(The Penitent Brothers), a society of flagellants existing among the Spanish of New Mexico and ...
Penitential Canons

Penitential Canons

Rules laid down by councils or bishops concerning the penances to be done for various sins. ...
Penitential Orders

Penitential Orders

A general name for religious congregations whose members are bound to perform extraordinary works ...
Penitents, Confraternities of

Confraternities of Penitents

Congregations, with statutes prescribing various penitential works, such as fasting, the use of ...
Penne and Atri, Diocese of

Penne and Atri

(Pennensis et Atriensis). Penne is a city in the Province of Teramo, in the Abruzzi, central ...
Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania

One of the thirteen original United States of America , lies between 39° 43' and 42° 15' ...
Penobscot Indians

Penobscot Indians

The principal tribe of the famous Abnaki confederacy of Maine, and the only one still keeping its ...
Pension, Ecclesiastical

Ecclesiastical Pension

The right to a certain sum of money to be paid yearly out of the revenues of a church or ...
Pentacomia

Pentacomia

A titular see of Palestine, suffragan of Areopolis or Rabbah. It was never a residential see; ...
Pentapolis

Pentapolis

The word, occurring in Wisdom, x, 6, designates the region where stood the five cities ( pente, ...
Pentateuch

Pentateuch

Pentateuch , in Greek pentateuchos , is the name of the first five books of the Old ...
Pentecost

Pentecost

A feast of the universal Church which commemorates the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the ...
Pentecost (Jewish Feast)

Pentecost (Jewish Feast)

The second in importance of the great Jewish feasts. The term, adopted from the ...
Peoria

Peoria

(PEORIENSIS). Diocese comprising that part of Central Illinois south of the Counties of ...
Peoria Indians

Peoria Indians

A principal tribe of the confederated Illinois Indians (q.v.) having their chief residence, in the ...
Pepin the Short

Pepin the Short

Mayor of the Palace of the whole Frankish kingdom (both Austrasia and Neustria), and later King ...
Peppergrass, Paul

John Boyce

Novelist, lecturer, and priest, well known under the assumed name of "Paul Peppergrass", born in ...
Perboyre, Blessed Jean-Gabriel

St. Jean-Gabriel Perboyre

Missionary and martyr, born at Puech, Diocese of Cahors, France, 6 January, 1802; martyred at ...
Percy, Blessed Thomas

Bl. Thomas Percy

Earl of Northumberland, martyr, born in 1528; died at York, 22 August, 1572. He was the eldest ...
Percy, John

John Percy

( alias JOHN FISHER) Born at Holmeside, Durham, 27 Sep., 1569; died at London, 3 Dec., ...
Peregrinus

Peregrinus

The canons of Priscillian, prefixed to the Epistles of St. Paul in many (chiefly Spanish) ...
Pereira, Benedict

Benedict Pereira

(PEREYRA, PERERA, PERERIUS) Philosopher, theologian, and exegete, born about 1535, at Ruzafa, ...
Perez, Juan

Juan Perez

Died before 1513. At one time he held the office of contador or accountant to the Queen of ...
Perfection, Christian and Religious

Christian and Religious Perfection

A thing is perfect in which nothing is wanting of its nature, purpose, or end. It may be perfect ...
Pergamus

Pergamus

A titular see, suffragan of Ephesus. This city was situated on the banks of the Selinus. It was ...
Perge

Perge

Titular metropolitan see in Pamphylia Secunda. Perge, one of the chief cities of Pamphylia, was ...
Pergolesi, Giovanni Battista

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi

Born at Naples, 3 Jan., 1710; d. 16 March, 1736, at Pozzuoli, near Naples. This young man of ...
Pericui Indians

Pericui Indians

A rude and savage tribe, of unknown linguistic affinity, formerly occupying the extreme southern ...
Periodi

Periodi

(P ETRI ) The name under which the Pseudo-Clementine writings are quoted by Epiphanius, ...
Periodical Literature, Catholic

Catholic Periodical Literature

The invention of printing, besides exerting a great influence on literature in general and on ...
Perjury

Perjury

(Latin per , through and jurare , to swear) Perjury is the crime of taking a false oath. ...
Permaneder, Franz Michael

Franz Michael Permaneder

Canonist, b. at Traunstein, Bavaria, 12 Aug., 1794; d. at Ratisbon, 10 Oct., 1862. He studied ...
Pernter, Joseph Maria

Joseph Maria Pernter

Scientist, b. at Neumark, Tyrol, 15 March, 1848; d. at Arco, 20 Dec., 1908. He entered the ...
Perpetua and Felicitas, Saints

Sts. Felicitas and Perpetua

Martyrs, suffered at Carthage, 7 March 203, together with three companions, Revocatus, Saturus, ...
Perpetual Adoration

Perpetual Adoration

A term broadly used to designate the practically uninterrupted adoration of the Blessed ...
Perpetual Adoration, Religious of

Religious of Perpetual Adoration

(Belgium) A congregation with simple vows, founded at Brussels, 1857, by Anna de Meeus, ...
Perpetual Adoration, Religious of the

Religious of the Perpetual Adoration

A contemplative religious congregation, founded in 1526 by Sister Elizabeth Zwirer (d. 1546), at ...
Perpetual Adoration, Sisters of the

Sisters of the Perpetual Adoration

(Quimper, France ). An institute of nuns devoted to perpetual adoration of the Blessed ...
Perpetual Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament

Perpetual Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament

(Sacramentines.) Anton Le Quien, b. in Paris, 23 Feb., 1601, the founder of the first order ...
Perpetual Help, Our Lady of

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour (Our Lady of Perpetual Help)

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

Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

A congregation founded in the parish of St. Damien, Bellechasse, P.Q., Canada, 28 August, 1892, ...
Perpetual Succour, Our Lady of

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour (Our Lady of Perpetual Help)

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

St. Perpetuus

Eighth Bishop of Tours, d. 1 January, or 8 December, 490, or 8 April, 491. He was a member of ...
Perpignan, Diocese of

Perpignan

(Perpinianum.) Comprises the Department of Pyrénées Orientales; created by the ...
Perpignan, University of

University of Perpignan

Peter IV of Aragon (1327-87), having conquered (1344) the town of Perpignan and reunited to his ...
Perraud, Adolphe

Adolphe Perraud

Cardinal and academician; b. at Lyons, France, 7 Feb., 1828; d. 18 Feb., 1906. He had a ...
Perrault, Charles

Charles Perrault

Writer, b. in Paris, 12 Jan., 1628; d. 16 May, 1703. His first literary attempts were a parody of ...
Perrault, Claude

Claude Perrault

Born at Paris, 1613; died there, 1688. He built the main eastern façade of the Louvre, ...
Perreyve, Henri

Henri Perreyve

Born at Paris, 11 April, 1831; died there 18 June, 1865. His father was professor at the ...
Perrone, Giovanni

Giovanni Perrone

Jesuit theologian, b. at Chieri, Italy, 11 March, 1794; d. at Rome, 28 Aug., 1876. After studying ...
Perry, Stephen Joseph

Stephen Joseph Perry

Born in London, August, 1833; d. 27 Dec. 1889. He belonged to a well-known Catholic family. His ...
Persecution

Persecution

GENERAL Persecution may be defined in general as the unlawful coercion of another's liberty or ...
Persecutions, Coptic

Coptic Persecutions

(ACCORDING TO GREEK AND LATIN SOURCES) During the first two centuries the Church of Alexandria ...
Perseverance, Final

Final Perseverance

( Perseverantia finalis ). Final perseverance is the preservation of the state of grace till ...
Persia

Persia

The history, religion, and civilization of Persia are offshoots from those of Media. Both Medes ...
Persian Rite

East Syrian Rite

Also known as the Chaldean, Assyrian, or Persian Rite. History and Origin This rite is used by ...
Persico, Ignatius

Ignatius Persico

A cardinal, born 30 Jan., 1823, at Naples, Italy ; died 7 Dec., 1896. He entered the Capuchin ...
Person

Person

The Latin word persona was originally used to denote the mask worn by an actor. From this it ...
Person, Ecclesiastical

Ecclesiastical Person

In its etymological sense this expression signifies every person who forms a part of the external ...
Personality

Personality

It is proposed in this article to give an account: (1) of the physical constituents of ...
Persons, Robert

Robert Persons

(Also, but less correctly, P ARSONS ) Jesuit, b., at Nether Stowey, Somerset, 24 June, 1546; ...
Perth

Perth

(PERTHENSIS) Located in Western Australia, suffragan to Adelaide; bounded on the north by ...
Pertinax, Publius Helvius

Pertinax

Roman Emperor (31 Dec., 192), b. at Alba Pompeia, in Luguria, 1 August, 126; d. at Rome 28 ...
Peru

Peru

A republic on the west coast of South America, founded in 1821 after the war of independence, ...
Perugia

Perugia

(PERUSINA) Located in Umbria, Central Italy. The city is situated on a hill on the right of ...
Perugia, University of

University of Perugia

One of the "free" universities of Italy, was erected into a studium generale on 8 Sept., 1308, ...
Perugino

Perugino

(PIETRO VANNUCCI) An Italian painter, founder of the Umbrian school, born at Città ...
Peruzzi, Baldassare

Baldassare Peruzzi

An architect and painter, born at Siena, 7 March, 1481; died at Rome, 6 Jan., 1537. He derived ...
Pesaro

Pesaro

(PESAURENSIS) Located in central Italy. The city is situated at the mouth of the river ...
Pescennius Niger

Pescennius Niger

Emperor of Rome (193-194). He was a native of central Italy, and during the reigns of Marcus ...
Pesch, Tilman

Tilman Pesch

A Jesuit philosopher, b. at Cologne, 1 Feb., 1836; d. at Valkenberg, Holland, 18 Oct., 1899. He ...
Pescia

Pescia

(PISCIENSIS) Diocese in Tuscany, Italy, on the Rivers Pescia Maggiore and Pescia Minore, ...
Pessimism

Pessimism

I. A TEMPER OF MIND In popular language the term pessimist is applied to persons who ...
Pessinus

Pessinus

( Pessinous .) A titular see of Galatia Secunda. Pessinonte, on the southern slope of Mt. ...
Pestalozzi and Pestalozzianism

Pestalozzi and Pestalozzianism

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, one of the greatest pioneers of modern education, born at Zurich, ...
Peter Baptist, Saint, and Twenty-Five Companions

Sts. Peter Baptist and Twenty-Five Companions

Died at Nagasaki, 5 Feb., 1597. In 1593 while negotiations were pending between the Emperor of ...
Peter Canisius, Blessed

Blessed Peter Canisius

(Kannees, Kanys, probably also De Hondt). Born at Nimwegen in the Netherlands, 8 May, 1521; ...
Peter Cantor

Peter Cantor

Theologian, b. probably at Gisberoi near Beauvais, France ; d. at Long Pont Abbey, 22 Sept., ...
Peter Cellensis

Peter Cellensis

(PETER DE LA CELLE). Bishop of Chartres, b. of noble parentage in Champagne; d. at Chartres, ...
Peter Chrysologus, Saint

Saint Peter Chrysologus

Born at Imola, 406; died there, 450. His biography, first written by Agnellus (Liber pontificalis ...
Peter Claver, Saint

St. Peter Claver

The son of a Catalonian farmer, was born at Verdu, in 1581; he died 8 September, 1654. He ...
Peter Comestor

Peter Comestor

Theological writer, b. at Troyes, date unknown; d. at Paris about 1178. He was first attached ...
Peter Damian, Saint

St. Peter Damian

(Or Damiani). Doctor of the Church, Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia, b. at Ravenna "five years ...
Peter de Blois

Peter de Blois

A statesman and theologian, born at Blois about 1130; died about 1203. He appears to have ...
Peter de Honestis

Peter de Honestis

Born at Ravenna about 1049; died, 29 March, 1119. Among his ancestors was the great St. Romuald, ...
Peter de Regalado, Saint

Peter de Regalado

(REGALATUS) A Friar Minor and reformer, born at Valladolid, 1390; died at Aguilera, 30 ...
Peter de Vinea

Peter de Vinea

(DE VINEIS, DELLA VIGNA) Born at Capua about 1190; died 1249. Peter's legal learning and the ...
Peter Faber, Saint

Peter Faber

Born 13 April, 1506, at Villaret, Savoy ; died 1 Aug., 1546, in Rome. As a child he tended his ...
Peter Fourier, Saint

St. Peter Fourier

Known as LE BON PÈRE DE MATTAINCOURT, born at Mirecourt, Lorraine, 30 Nov., 1565 died at ...
Peter Fullo

Peter Fullo

Intruding Monophysite Patriarch of Antioch ; d. 488. He received the Greek surname Gnapheus ...
Peter Gonzalez, Saint

St. Peter Gonzalez

Popularly known as St. Elmo, b. in 1190 at Astorga, Spain ; d. 15 April, 1246, at Tuy. He was ...
Peter Igneus, Blessed

Blessed Peter Igneus

(Peter Aldobrandini.) An Italian monk of the Benedictine congregation of the ...
Peter Lombard

Peter Lombard

Theologian, b. at Novara (or perhaps Lumello), Italy, about 1100; d. about 1160-64. He studied ...
Peter Mongus

Peter Mongus

( moggos , "stammerer", or "hoarse".) Intruded Monophysite patriarch of Alexandria (d. ...
Peter Nolasco, Saint

St. Peter Nolasco

Born at Mas-des-Saintes-Puelles, near Castelnaudary, France, in 1189 (or 1182); died at ...
Peter of Alcántara, Saint

St. Peter of Alcantara

Born at Alcántara, Spain, 1499; died 18 Oct., 1562. His father, Peter Garavita, was the ...
Peter of Alexandria, Saint

Peter of Alexandria

Became Bishop of Alexandria in 300; martyred Nov., 311. According to Philip of Sidetes he ...
Peter of Aquila

Peter of Aquila

(SCOTELLUS). Friar Minor , theologian and bishop, b. at Aquila in the Abruzzi, Italy, towards ...
Peter of Arbues, Saint

St. Peter of Arbues

(Correctly, PETER ARBUES). Born in 1441 (or 1442); died 17 Sept., 1485. His father, a ...
Peter of Auvergne

Peter of Auvergne

A philosopher and theologian ; died after 1310. He was a canon of Paris ; some biographers ...
Peter of Bergamo

Peter of Bergamo

(ALMADURA) A theologian, date of birth unknown; died at Placentia, in 1482. He entered the ...
Peter of Montboissier, Blessed

Blessed Peter of Montboissier

(Better known as PETER THE VENERABLE). Born in Auvergne, about 1092; died at Cluny, 25 ...
Peter of Poitiers

Peter of Poitiers

A French scholastic theologian, born at Poitiers or in its neighbourhood about 1130; died in ...
Peter of Sebaste, Saint

Saint Peter of Sebaste

Bishop, b. about 340; d. 391. He belonged to the richly blest family of Basil and Emmelia of ...
Peter of Verona, Saint

St. Peter of Verona

Born at Verona, 1206; died near Milan, 6 April, 1252. His parents were adherents of the ...
Peter Snow, Venerable

Ven. Peter Snow

English martyr, suffered at York, 15 June, 1598. He was born at or near Ripon and arrived at the ...
Peter the Hermit

Peter the Hermit

Born at Amiens about 1050; d. at the monastery of Neufmoutier (Liège), in 1115. His ...
Peter Urseolus, Saint

Saint Peter Urseolus

(Orseolo) Born at Rivo alto, Province of Udina, 928; at Cuxa, 10 January, 987 (997 is less ...
Peter, Basilica of Saint

Basilica of Saint Peter

TOPOGRAPHY The present Church of St. Peter stands upon the site where at the beginning of the ...
Peter, Chair of

Chair of Peter

Under this head will be treated: I. The annual Feast of the Chair of Peter ( Cathedra Petri ) at ...
Peter, Saint

St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles

The life of St. Peter may be conveniently considered under the following heads: I. Until the ...
Peter, Saint, Epistles of

Epistles of Saint Peter

These two epistles will be treated under the following heads: I. Authenticity; II. Recipients, ...
Peter, Sarah

Sarah Peter

Philanthropist, b. at Chillicothe, Ohio, U.S.A. 10 May, 1800; d. at Cincinnati, 6 Feb., 1877. Her ...
Peter, Tomb of Saint

Tomb of St. Peter

The history of the relics of the Apostles Peter and Paul is one which is involved in ...
Peter-Louis-Marie Chanel, Saint

St. Peter-Louis-Marie Chanel

The print version of the C ATHOLIC E NCYCLOPEDIA contains two articles on this saint. We ...
Peterborough

Peterborough

(PETERBOROUGHENSIS) Located in the Province of Ontario , Canada, comprises the Counties of ...
Peterspence

Peterspence

Peterspence, otherwise known to the Anglo-Saxons as "Romescot", is the name traditionally given to ...
Peterssen, Gerlac

Gerlac Peterssen

(GERLACUS PETRI) Born at Deventer, 1377 or 1378; died 18 Nov., 1411. He entered the ...
Petinessus

Petinessus

(PITNISUS) A titular see in Galatia Secunda (Salutaris). This city is mentioned by Strabo, ...
Petit-Didier, Matthieu

Matthieu Petit-Didier

A Benedictine theologian and ecclesiastical historian, born at Saint-Nicolas-du-Port in ...
Petitions to the Holy See

Petitions To the Holy See

I. MODE OF PETITIONING Faculties, indults, dispensations, and other favours, the granting of ...
Petra

Petra

Titular metropolitan see of Palæstina Tertia. Under the name of Sela (the rock) this ...
Petrarch, Francesco

Francesco Petrarch

Italian poet and humanist, b. at Arezzo, 20 July, 1304; d. at Arquá, 19 July, 1374. His ...
Petre, Family of

Family of Petre

The Petres are one of those staunch and constant families, which have played a great part in the ...
Petrobrusians

Petrobrusians

Heretics of the twelfth century so named from their founder Peter of Bruys. Our information ...
Petronilla, Saint

Saint Petronilla

Virgin, probably martyred at Rome at the end of the first century. Almost all the sixth- and ...
Petronius, Saint

St. Petronius

Bishop of Bologna, date of birth unknown; died before 450. The only certain historical ...
Petropolis

Petropolis

(Petropolitanensis). Diocese in the Province of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, erected 11 Feb., ...
Petrus Alfonsus

Petrus Alphonsus

A converted Jew and controversialist, born at Huesca, in the former Kingdom of Aragon, 1062; ...
Petrus Bernardinus

Petrus Bernardinus

Florentine heretic ; born at Florence about 1475; died 1502. His parents were common folk, and ...
Petrus de Natalibus

Petrus de Natalibus

Bishop; author of a collection of lives of the saints; date of birth unknown; d. between 1400 and ...
Petrus Diaconus

Petrus Diaconus

The name of several men of note in ecclesiastical history and literature. (1) One of the ...
Petun Nation

Petun Nation

One of the three great divisions of the Huron Indians, the other two being the Hurons proper, and ...
Peuerbach, George von

George von Peuerbach

(Also Peurbach, Purbach, Purbachius) Austrian astronomer, b. at Peuerbach near Linz, 30 May, ...
Peutinger, Conrad

Conrad Peutinger

An antiquarian and humanist, born at Augsburg, 14 Oct., 1465; died 28 Dec., 1547. As a young ...
Peyto, William

William Peyto

(P ETO, P ETOW ). Cardinal ; d. 1558 or 1559. Though his parentage was long unknown, it is ...
Pez

Pez, Bernhard and Hieronymus

(1) BERNHARD An historian, born 22 February, 1683, at Ybbs near Melk ; died 27 March, 1735, at ...
Pfanner, Franz

Franz Pfanner

An abbot, born at Langen, Vorarlberg, Austria, 1825; died at Emmaus, South Africa, 24 May, ...
Pfefferkorn, Johannes

Johannes Pfefferkorn

A baptized Jew, b. probably at Nuremberg, 1469; d. at Cologne, between 1521 and 1524. In 1505, ...
Pfister, Adolf

Adolf Pfister

An educationist, born at Hechingen in Hohenzollern, 26 Sept., 1810; died at Ober-Dischingen in ...
Pflug, Julius Von

Julius von Pflug

The last Catholic Bishop of Naumburg-Zeitz, born at Eythra, near Leipzig, 1499; died at Zeits, ...
Pforta

Pforta

A former Cistercian monastery (1137-1540), near Naumburg on the Saale in the Prussian province ...
Phœnicia

Phoenecia

Phœnicia is a narrow strip of land, about one hundred and fifty miles long and thirty miles ...
Phacusa

Phacusa

A titular see and suffragan of Pelusium, in Augustamnica Prima. Ptolemy (IV, v, 24) makes it ...
Pharao

Pharao

(Prah, Par‘o, or, after a vowel, Phar‘o ; Greek Pharaó ; Latin Pharao). ...
Pharbætus

Pharbaetus

Titular see and suffragan of Leontopolis, in Augustamnica Secunda. This name is merely the ...
Pharisees

Pharisees

A politico-religious sect or faction among the adherents of later Judaism, that came into ...
Pharsalus

Pharsalus

Titular see and suffragan of Larissa in Thessaly. The city is mentioned for the first time after ...
Phaselis

Phaselis

Titular see in Lycia, suffragan of Myra. The city was a Doric colony on the Pamphylian Gulf. ...
Phasga

Phasga

(A.V. Pisgah ). Whether the word in Hebrew is a proper or a common noun is not clear; ...
Phenomenalism

Phenomenalism

Phenomenalism ( phainomenon ) literally means any system of thought that has to do with ...
Philadelphia (Lydia)

Titular See of Philadelphia

A titular see in Lydia, suffragan of Sardes. The city was founded by Philadelphus, King of ...
Philadelphia (Pennsylvania)

Philadelphia

(PHILADELPHIENSIS) A diocese established in 1808; made an archdiocese, 12 Feb., 1875, ...
Philanthropinism

Philanthropinism

The system of education educed from the ideas of Rousseau and of the German "Enlightenment", ...
Philastrius, Saint

St. Philastrius

Bishop of Brescia, died before 397. He was one of the bishops present at a synod held in ...
Philemon

Philemon

A citizen of Coloss Colossæ, to whom St. Paul addressed a private letter, unique in the ...
Philip II

Philip II (King of Spain)

King of Spain, only son of the Emperor Charles V, and Isabella of Portugal, b. at Valladolid, 21 ...
Philip II (Augustus)

Philip II

King of France, born 22 or 25 August, 1165; died at Mantes, 14 July, 1223, son of Louis VII ...
Philip IV

Philip IV (The Fair)

Surnamed Le Bel (the Fair) King of France, b. at Fontainebleau, 1268; d. there, 29 Nov., 1314; ...
Philip of Jesus, Saint

St. Philip of Jesus

Born in Mexico, date unknown; died at Nagasaki early in February, 1597. Though unusually ...
Philip of the Blessed Trinity

Philip of the Blessed Trinity

(ESPRIT JULIEN). Discalced Carmelite, theologian, born at Malaucene, near Avignon, 1603; died ...
Philip Romolo Neri, Saint

St. Philip Romolo Neri

THE APOSTLE OF ROME. Born at Florence, Italy, 22 July, 1515; died 27 May, 1595. Philip's ...
Philip the Apostle, Saint

St. Philip the Apostle

Like the brothers, Peter and Andrew, Philip was a native of Bethsaida on Lake Genesareth ( John ...
Philip the Arabian

Philip the Arabian

(Philippus) Emperor of Rome (244-249), the son of an Arab sheik, born in Bosra. He rose ...
Philippi

Philippi

(Greek Phílippoi , Latin Philippi ). Philippi was a Macedonian town, on the ...
Philippi

Philippi

A titular metropolitan see in Macedonia. As early as the sixth century B. C. we learn of a ...
Philippians, Epistle to the

Epistle to the Philippians

I. HISTORICAL CIRCUMSTANCES, OCCASION, AND CHARACTER ( See also PHILIPPI ). The Philippians, ...
Philippine Islands

Philippine Islands

Situation and Area The Philippine Islands lie between 116° 40' and 126° and 34' E. long., ...
Philippopolis

Philippopolis

A titular metropolitan see of Thracia Secunda. The city was founded by Philip of Macedon in 342 ...
Philippopolis

Philippopolis

Titular see in Arabia, suffragan of Bostra. Its bishop, Hormisdas, was present at the Council ...
Philips, Peter

Peter Philips

(Also known as PETRUS PHILIPPUS, PIETRO PHILLIPO.) Born in England about 1560; date and place ...
Philistines

Philistines

( Septuagint phylistieim in the Pentateuch and Josue, elsewhere allophyloi , ...
Phillip, Robert

Robert Phillip

Priest, d. at Paris, 4 Jan., 1647. He was descended from the Scottish family of Phillip of ...
Phillips, George

George Phillips

A canonist, born at Königsberg, 6 Sept., 1804; died at Vienna, 6 September, 1872, was the son ...
Philo Judæus

Philo of Alexandria

Born about 25 B.C. . His family, of a sacerdotal line, was one of the most powerful of the ...
Philomelium

Philomelium

A titular see in Pisidia, suffragan of Antioch. According to ancient writers Philomelium was ...
Philomena, Saint

Saint Philomena

On 25 May, 1802, during the quest for the graves of Roman martyrs in the Catacomb of Priscilla, ...
Philosophy

Philosophy

I. Definition of Philosophy . II. Division of Philosophy . III. The Principal Systematic ...
Philoxenus

Philoxenus

(AKHSENAYA) OF MABBOGH. Born at Tahal, in the Persian province of Beth-Garmai in the second ...
Phocæa

Titular See of Phocaea

A titular see in Asia, suffragan of Ephesus. The town of Phocæa was founded in the ...
Photinus

Photinus

A heretic of the fourth century, a Galatian and deacon to Marcellus, Metropolitan of Ancyra ...
Photius of Constantinople

Photius of Constantinople

Photius of Constantinople, chief author of the great schism between East and West, was b. at ...
Phylacteries

Phylacteries

( Phulachterion — safeguard, amulet, or charm). The word occurs only once in the New ...
Physics, History of

History of Physics

The subject will be treated under the following heads: I. A Glance at Ancient Physics; II. ...
Physiocrats

Physiocrats

( physis , nature, kratein , rule) A school of writers on political and economic ...
Physiologus

Physiologus

An early Christian work of a popular theological type, describing animals real or fabulous ...
Piacenza

Piacenza

DIOCESE OF PIACENZA (PLACENTINENSIS) Piacenza is a diocese in Emilia, central Italy. The city ...
Pianô Carpine, Giovanni da

Giovanni da Piano Carpine

Born at Pian di Carpine (now called della Magione), near Perugia, Umbria, 1182; died probably in ...
Pianciani, Giambattista

Giambattista Pianciani

Scientist, b. at Spoleto, 27 Oct., 1784; d. at Rome, 23 March, 1862. He entered the Society of ...
Piatto Cardinalizio

Piatto Cardinalizio

An allowance granted by the pope to cardinals residing in curia or otherwise employed by ...
Piatus of Mons

Piatus of Mons

(Secular name, JEAN-JOSEPH LOISEAUX), b. 5 Aug., 1815; d. in the Monastery of Ste. Claire, ...
Piauhy

Piauhy

(DE PIAUHY, PIAHUNENSIS) Suffragan of the Archdiocese of Belem do Para, in the State of ...
Piazza Armerina

Piazza Armerina

(PLATIENSIS) Located in the province of Caltanissetta, Sicily. The city of Piazza Armerina is ...
Piazzi, Giuseppe

Piazzi

Astronomer, b. at Ponte in Valtellina, 16 July, 1746; d. at Naples, 22 July, 1826. He took the ...
Pibush, John

John Pibush

English martyr, born at Thirsk, Yorkshire; died at St Thomas's Waterings, Camberwell, 18 February, ...
Picard, Jean

Jean Picard

Astronomer, b. at La Flêche, 21 July, 1620; d. at Paris, 12 Oct., 1682. He was a priest ...
Piccolomini, Alessandro

Alessandro Piccolomini

Littérateur, philosopher, astronomer, b. 13 June, 1508; d. 12 March, 1578. He passed his ...
Piccolomini-Ammannati, Jacopo

Jacopo Piccolomini-Ammannati

A cardinal, born in the Villa Basilica near Lucca, 1422; died at San Lorenzo near Bolsena, 10 ...
Pichler

Pichler

A renowned Austrian family of gem-cutters who lived and died in Italy. ANTONIO (JOHANN ...
Pichler, Vitus

Vitus Pichler

Distinguished canonist and controversial writer, b. at Grosberghofen, 24 May, 1670; d. at Munich, ...
Pickering, Ven. Thomas

Pickering

Lay brother and martyr, a member of an old Westmoreland family, b. c. 1621; executed at Tyburn, ...
Piconio, Bernadine a

Bernardine a Piconio

(HENRI BERNARDINE DE PICQUIGNY) Born at Picquigny, Picardy, 1633; died in Paris, 8 December, ...
Picquet, François

Francois Picquet

A celebrated Sulpician missionary in Canada, b. at Bourg, Bresse, France, 4 Dec., 1708; d. at ...
Picture Bibles

Picture Bibles

In the Middle Ages the Church made use of pictures as a means of instruction, to supplement ...
Pie Pelicane, Jesu, Domine

Pie Pelicane, Jesu, Domine

The sixth quatrain of Adoro Te Devote , sometimes used as a separate hymn at Benediction of ...
Pie, Louis-Edouard-Désiré

Louis-Edouard-Desire Pie

Cardinal, born at Pontgouin, Diocese of Chartres, 1815; died at Angoulême, 1880. He studied ...
Pieck, Saint Nicholas

St. Nicholas Pieck

(Also spelled PICK). Friar Minor and martyr, b. at Gorkum, Holland, 29 August, 1534; d. at ...
Piedmont

Piedmont

( Italian Piemonte ). A part compartimento of northern Italy, bounded on the north by ...
Piel, Peter

Piel

A pioneer in the movement for reform of church music, b. at Kessewick, near Bonn, 12 Aug., 1835; ...
Pierius

Pierius

A priest and probably head master of the catechetical school at Alexandria conjointly with ...
Pierre de Castelnau, Blessed

Blessed Pierre de Castelnau

Born in the Diocese of Montpellier , Languedoc, now Department of Hérault, France ; died ...
Pierre de Maricourt

Pierre de Maricourt

Surnamed PETER THE PILGRIM ( Petrus Peregrinus ) A physician of the Middle Ages. Under the ...
Pierron, Jean

Jean Pierron

A missionary, born at Dun-sur-Meuse, France, 28 Sept., 1631; date and place of death unknown. He ...
Pierson, Philippe

Philippe Pierson

Born at Ath, Hainaut (Belgium), 4 January, 1642; died at Lorette, Quebec, 1688. At the age of ...
Pietism

Pietism

Pietism is a movement within the ranks of Protestantism, originating in the reaction against the ...
Pighius, Albert

Albert Pighius

A theologian, mathematician, and astronomer, born at Kampen, Overyssel, Holland, about 1490; ...
Pignatelli, Venerable Giuseppe Maria

Ven. Giuseppe Maria Pignatelli

Born 27 December, 1737, in Saragossa, Spain ; died 11 November, 1811. His family was of ...
Pike, William

William Pike

Martyr, born in Dorsetshire; died at Dorchester, dec., 1591. He was a joiner, and lived at West ...
Pilar, Nuestra Señora del

Nuestra Senora Del Pilar

"Our Lady of the Pillar", a celebrated church and shrine, at Saragossa, Spain, containing a ...
Pilate, Pontius

Pontius Pilate

After the deposition of the eldest son of Herod, Archelaus (who had succeeded his father as ...
Pilchard, Venerable Thomas

Venerable Thomas Pilchard

( Or PILCHER). Martyr, born at Battle, Sussex, 1557; died at Dorchester, 21 March 1586-7. ...
Pileolus

Zucchetto

( zucca , head). The small, round skullcap of the ecclesiastic. The official name is ...
Pilgrimage of Grace

Pilgrimage of Grace

The name given to the religious rising in the north of England, 1536. The cause of this great ...
Pilgrimages

Pilgrimages

(Middle English, pilgrime, Old French, pelegrin, derived from Latin peregrinum, supposed ...
Piligrim

Piligrim

Bishop of Passau, date of birth unknown; died 20 May, 991. He was educated at the ...
Pillar of Cloud/Fire

Pillar of Cloud (Pillar of Fire)

(P ILLAR OF F IRE ). A cloud which accompanied the Israelites during their wandering. It ...
Pima Indians

Pima Indians

An important tribe of Southern Arizona, centering along the middle Gila and its affluent, the ...
Pinar del Rio

Pinar Del Rio

(Pinetensis ad Flumen) Located in Cuba, erected by the Brief "Actum præclare" of Leo ...
Pinara

Pinara

A titular see in Lycia, suffragan of Myra. Pinara was one of the chief cities of the Lycian ...
Pindemonte, Ippolito

Ippolito Pindemonte

An Italian poet of noble birth, born at Verona, 13 Nov., 1753; died there, 18 Nov., 1828. He ...
Pineda, John de

John de Pineda

Born in Seville, 1558; died there, 27 Jan., 1637. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1572, ...
Pinerolo

Pinerolo

(PINEROLIENSIS) Located in the province of Turin, in Piedmont, Northern Italy, suffragan of ...
Pingré, Alexandre Guy

Alexandre Guy Pingre

Born in Paris 11 September, 1711; died 1 May, 1796. He was educated in Senlis at the college ...
Pinna da Encarnaçao, Mattheus

Mattheus Pinna Da Encarnacao

A writer and theologian, born at Rio de Janeiro, 23 Aug., 1687; died there, 18 Dec., 1764. On 3 ...
Pinto, Fernão Mendes

Fernao Mendes Pinto

A Portuguese traveller, born at Montemor-o-Velho near Coimbra, c. 1509; died at Almada near ...
Pinturicchio

Pinturicchio

(BERNARDINO DI BETTO, surnamed PINTURICCHIO) Born at Verona, about 1454; died at Siena, 11 ...
Pinzón, Martín Alonso

Martin Alonso Pinzon

Spanish navigator and companion of Columbus on his first voyage to the New World, b. at Palos ...
Piombo, Sebastiano del

Sebastiano Del Piombo

More correctly known as S EBASTIANO L UCIANI . Venetian portrait painter, b. at Venice, ...
Pionius, Saint

St. Pionius

Martyred at Smyrna, 12 March, 250. Pionius, with Sabina and Asclepiades, was arrested on 23 ...
Pious Fund of the Californias, The

The Pious Fund of the Californias

(Fondo Piadoso de las Californias) The Pious Fund of the Californias had its origin, in 1697, ...
Pious Society of Missions, The

The Pious Society of Missions

Founded by Ven. Vincent Mary Pallotti in 1835. The members of the society are generally called ...
Piranesi, Giambattista

Giambattista Piranesi

An Italian etcher and engraver, b. at Venice, 1720; d. in Rome, 9 Nov., 1778. His uncle ...
Pirhing, Ernricus

Ernricus Pirhing

Born at Sigarthin, near Passau, 1606; died between 1678 and 1681. At the age of twenty-two he ...
Pirkheimer

Pirkheimer

Charitas Pirkheimer Abbess of the Convent of St. Clara, of the Poor Clares, in Nuremberg, and ...
Piro Indians

Piro Indians

A tribe of considerable importance, ranging by water for a distance of three hundred miles along ...
Pisa

Pisa

ARCHDIOCESE OF PISA (PISÆ) Archdiocese in Tuscany, central Italy. The city is situated ...
Pisa, Council of

Council of Pisa

Preliminaries. The great Schism of the West had lasted thirty years (since 1378), and none of ...
Pisa, University of

University of Pisa

In the eleventh century there were many jurisconsults at Pisa who lectured on law ; prominent ...
Pisano, Andrea

Andrea Pisano

Or ANDREA DA PISA (the name by which Andrea da Pontadera is known). An Italian sculptor and ...
Pisano, Niccola

Niccola Pisano

Architect and sculptor, b. at Pisa about 1205-07; d. there, 1278. He was the father of modern ...
Piscataway Indians

Piscataway Indians

A tribe of Algonquian linguistic stock formerly occupying the peninsula of lower Maryland ...
Piscina

Piscina

(Latin from piscis, a fish, fish-pond, pool or basin, called also sacrarium, thalassicon, or ...
Pise, Charles Constantine

Charles Constantine Pise

Priest, poet, and prose writer, b. at Annapolis, Maryland, 22 Nov., 1801; d. at Brooklyn, New ...
Pisidia

Pisidia

A country in the southwestern part of Asia Minor, between the high Phrygian tableland and the ...
Pistoia and Prato

Pistoia and Prato

(PISTORIENSIS ET PRATENSIS) Located in the Province of Florence. The city of Pistoia is ...
Pistoia, Synod of

Synod of Pistoia

Held 18 to 28 September, 1786, by Scipio de’ Ricci, Bishop of Pistoia and Prato. It marks ...
Pistorius, Johann

Johann Pistorius

A controversialist and historian, born at Nidda in Hesse, 14 February, 1546; died at Freiburg, 18 ...
Pithou, Pierre

Pierre Pithou

A writer, born at Troyes, 1 Nov. 1539; died at Nogent-sur-Seine, 1 Nov., 1596. His father, a ...
Pitoni, Joseph

Joseph Pitoni

A musician, born at Rieti, Perugia, Italy, 18 March, 1657; died at Rome, 1 Feb., 1743, and ...
Pitra, Jean-Baptiste-François

Jean-Baptiste-Francois Pitra

Cardinal, famous archeologist and theologian, b. 1 August, 1812, at Champforgeuil in the ...
Pitts, John

John Pitts

Born at Alton, Hampshire, 1560; died at Liverdun, Lorraine, 17 Oct., 1616. He was educated at ...
Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh

DIOCESE OF PITTSBURG/PITTSBURGH (PITTSBURGENSIS). Suffragan of Philadelphia, in the United ...
Pityus

Pityus

A titular see in Pontus Polemoniacus, suffragan of Neocæsarea. Pityus was a large and ...
Pius I, Pope Saint

Pope St. Pius I

Date of birth unknown; pope from about 140 to about 154. According to the earliest list of the ...
Pius II, Pope

Pope Pius II

(Enea Silvio de' Piccolomini). Born at Corsignano, near Siena, 18 Oct., 1405; elected 19 ...
Pius III, Pope

Pope Pius III

(Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini). B. at Siena, 29 May, 1439; elected 22 Sept., 1503; d. in ...
Pius IV, Pope

Pope Pius IV

(Giovanni Angelo Medici). B. 31 March, 1499, at Milan ; elected 26 December, 1559; d. in ...
Pius IX, Pope

Pope Pius IX

(G IOVANNI M ARIA M ASTAI -F ERRETTI ). Pope from 1846-78; born at Sinigaglia, 13 May, ...
Pius V, Pope Saint

Pope St. Pius V

(MICHELE GHISLERI). Born at Bosco, near Alexandria, Lombardy, 17 Jan., 1504 elected 7 Jan., ...
Pius VI, Pope

Pope Pius VI

(G IOVANNI A NGELICO B RASCHI ). Born at Cesena, 27 December, 1717; elected 15 ...
Pius VII, Pope

Pope Pius VII

(B ARNABA C HIARAMONTI ). Born at Cesena in the Pontifical States, 14 August, 1740; ...
Pius VIII, Pope

Pope Pius VIII

(Francesco Xaverio Castiglione). B. at Cingoli, 20 Nov., 1761; elected 31 March, 1829; d. 1 ...
Pius X, Pope Saint

Pope Pius X

(Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto). Born 2 June, 1835, at Riese, Province of Treviso, in Venice. His ...
Piusverein

Piusverein

The name given to Catholic associations in various countries of Europe. I. THE PIUS ...
Pizarro, Francisco

Francisco Pizarro

Born in Trujillo, Estremadura, Spain, probably in 1471; died at Lima, Peru, 26 June, 1541. He ...
Placidus, Saint

St. Placidus

St. Placidus, disciple of St. Benedict, the son of the patrician Tertullus, was brought as a ...
Plagues of Egypt

Plagues of Egypt

Ten calamities inflicted on the Egyptians to overcome Pharao's obstinacy and force him to let ...
Plain Chant

Plain Chant

By plain chant we understand the church music of the early Middle Ages, before the advent of ...
Plantaganet, Henry Beaufort

Henry Beaufort Plantaganet

Cardinal, Bishop of Winchester, born c. 1377; died at Westminster, 11 April, 1447. He was the ...
Plantin, Christophe

Christophe Plantin

Book-binder and publisher of Antwerp, b. 1514, at or near Tours ( France ); d. 1 July, 1589, at ...
Plants in the Bible

Plants in the Bible

When Moses spoke to the people about the Land of Promise, he described it as a "land of hills ...
Plasencia

Plasencia

(PLACENTINA) Plasencia comprises the civil provinces of Cáceres, Salamanca, and ...
Plateau, Joseph-Antoine

Joseph-Antoine Plateau

Belgian physicist, b. at Brussels, 14 Oct., 1801; d. at Ghent, 15 Sept., 1883. His father, a ...
Platina, Bartolomeo

Bartolomeo Platina

Originally named S ACCHI, b. at Piadena, near Mantua, in 1421; d. at Rome, 1481. He first ...
Plato and Platonism

Plato and Platonism

I. LIFE OF PLATO Plato ( Platon , "the broad shouldered") was born at Athens in 428 or 427 ...
Play, Pierre-Guillaume-Frédéric Le

Pierre-Guillaume-Frederic Le Play

A French economist, born at La Rivière (Calvados), 11 April, 1806; died at Paris, 5 ...
Plegmund

Plegmund

Archbishop of Canterbury, died 2 August, 914. He was a Mercian, and spent his early life near ...
Plenarium

Plenarium

A book of formulae and texts. Plenarium or Plenarius ( Liber ) is any book that contains ...
Plenary Council

Plenary Council

A canonical term applied to various kinds of ecclesiastical synods. The word itself, derived from ...
Plessis, Joseph-Octave

Joseph-Octave Plessis

Bishop of Quebec, born at Montreal, 3 March, 1763; died at Quebec, 4 Dec., 1822. He studied ...
Plethon, Georgius Gemistus

Georgius Gemistus Plethon

Born in Constantinople about 1355, died in the Peloponnesus, 1450. Out of veneration for Plato ...
Plock

Plock

(PLOCENSIS) Located in Russian Poland, suffragan of Warsaw, includes the district of Plock ...
Plowden, Charles

Edmund Plowden

Born at Plowden Hall, Shropshire, 1743; died at Jougne, Doubs, France, 13 June, 1821. He was ...
Plowden, Edmund

Charles Plowden

Born 1517-8; died in London, 6 Feb., 1584-5. Son of Humphrey Plowden of Plowden Hall, Shropshire, ...
Plowden, Francis

Francis Plowden

Son of William Plowden of Plowden Hall, b. at Shropshire, 8 June, 1749; d. at Paris, 4 Jan., ...
Plowden, Robert

Robert Plowden

Elder brother of Charles, born 27 January, 1740; died at Wappenbury, 27 June, 1823. He entered ...
Plowden, Thomas

Thomas Plowden

( Alias Salisbury). Born in Oxfordshire, England, 1594; died in London, 13 Feb., 1664; ...
Plowden, Thomas Percy

Thomas Percy Plowden

Born at Shiplake, Oxfordshire, England, 1672; died at Watten, 21 Sept., 1745; joined the Society ...
Plumier, Charles

Charles Plumier

(botanical abbreviation, Plum .) A French botanist, born at Marseilles, 20 April, 1646; ...
Plunket, Blessed Oliver

St. Oliver Plunket

[ Editor's Note: St. Oliver Plunkett was canonized by Pope Paul VI on October 10, 1975.] ...
Pluscarden Priory

Pluscarden Priory

Founded in 1230 by Alexander III , King of Scotland, six miles from Elgin, Morayshire, for ...
Plymouth

Plymouth

(PLYMUTHENSIS, PLYMUTHÆ) Plymouth consists of the County of Dorset, which formed a ...
Pneumatomachi (Macedonians)

Pneumatomachi

(Macedonians) A heretical sect which flourished in the countries adjacent to the Hellespont ...
Poetry, Hebrew, of the Old Testament

Hebrew Poetry of the Old Testament

Since the Bible is divinely inspired, and thus becomes the "written word" of God, many devout ...
Poggio Bracciolini, Giovanni Francesco

Poggio Bracciolini

An Italian humanist and historian; born at Terranuova, near Arezzo, in 1380; died at Florence, ...
Poggio Mirteto

Poggio Mirteto

DIOCESE OF POGGIO MIRTETO (MANDELENSIS) Diocese in the province of Perugia, central Italy. The ...
Pogla

Pogla

( ta Pogla ) Titular see in Pamphylia Secunda. Pogla is mentioned only by Ptolemy, V, 5, ...
Poitiers

Poitiers

D IOCESE OF P OITIERS (P ICTAVENSIS ) The Diocese of Poitiers includes the Departments of ...
Poland

Poland

I. GEOGRAPHY The western part of the Sarmatian Plain together with the northern slopes of the ...
Polding, John Bede

John Bede Polding

Archbishop of Sydney, born at Liverpool, 18 Oct., 1794; died at Sydney, 16 March, 1877. In 1805 ...
Pole, Blessed Margaret

Blessed Margaret Pole

Countess of Salisbury, martyr ; b. at Castle Farley, near Bath, 14 August, 1473; martyred at ...
Pole, Reginald

Reginald Cardinal Pole

Cardinal, b. at Stourton Castle, Staffordshire, England, in March, 1500; d. at Lambeth Palace, ...
Polemonium

Polemonium

Titular see in Pontus Polemoniacus, suffragan of Neocæsarea. At the mouth of the Sidenus, ...
Poleni, Giovanni

Giovanni Poleni

Marquess, physicist, and antiquarian; b. at Venice, 23 Aug., 1683; d. at Padua, 14 Nov., 1761; ...
Poles in the United States

Poles in the United States

Causes of Immigration There is good foundation for the tradition that a Pole, John of Kolno (a ...
Policastro

Policastro

DIOCESE OF POLICASTRO (POLICASTRENSIS) Diocese in the province of Salerno, Southern Italy. The ...
Polignac, Melchior de

Melchior de Polignac

Cardinal, diplomatist, and writer, b. of an ancient family of Auvergne, at Le Puy, France, 11 ...
Polish Literature

Polish Literature

The subject will be divided, for convenience of treatment, into historical periods. First ...
Politi, Lancelot

Lancelot Politi

(In religion AMBROSIUS CATHARINUS) Born at Siena, 1483; died at Naples, 1553. At sixteen he ...
Politian

Politian

(ANGIOLO DE 'AMBROSINI DA MONTE PULCIANO) An Italian Humanist, born at Monte Pulciano in 1454; ...
Political Economy, Science of

Political Economy

S CIENCE OF P OLITICAL E CONOMY (E CONOMICS ). I. DEFINITIONS Political economy (Greek, ...
Pollajuolo, Antonio and Piero Benci

Antonio and Piero Benci Pollajuolo

Antonio and Piero Benci Pollajuolo derived their surname, according to Florentine custom, from ...
Polo, Marco

Marco Polo

Traveller; born at Venice in 1251; died there in 1324. His father Nicolo and his uncle Matteo, ...
Polybotus

Polybotus

A titular see in Phrygia Salutaris, suffragan of Synnada. This town is mentioned only in the ...
Polycarp, Saint

St. Polycarp

Martyr (A.D. 69-155). Our chief sources of information concerning St. Polycarp are: (1) the ...
Polycarpus

Polycarpus

The title of a canonical collection in eight books composed in Italy by Cardinal Gregorius. It is ...
Polyglot Bibles

Polyglot Bibles

The first Bible which may be considered a Polyglot is that edited at Alcalá (in Latin ...
Polystylum

Polystylum

A titular see of Macedonia Secunda, suffragan of Philippi. When Philippi was made a ...
Polytheism

Polytheism

The belief in, and consequent worship of, many gods. See the various articles on national ...
Pomaria

Pomaria

A titular see in Mauretania Cæsarea. It is north of Tlemcen (capital of an arrondissement ...
Pombal, Marquis de

Marquis de Pombal

S EBASTIâO J OSÉ DE C ARVALHO E M ELLO The son of a country gentleman of ...
Pomerania

Pomerania

A Prussian province on the Baltic Sea situated on both banks of the River Oder, divided into ...
Pompeiopolis

Pompeiopolis

A titular see in Paphlagonia. The ancient name of the town is unknown; it may have been ...
Pomponazzi, Pietro

Pietro Pomponazzi

(POMPONATIUS, also known as PERETTO on account of his small stature) A philosopher and ...
Ponce de León, Juan

Ponce de Leon

Explorer, born at San Servas in the province of Campos, 1460; died in Cuba, 1521. He was ...
Ponce, John

John Ponce

A philosopher and theologian, born at Cork, 1603, died at Paris, 1670. At an early age he went ...
Poncet, Joseph Anthony de la Rivière

Joseph Anthony de La Rivere Poncet

Missionary; b. at Paris, 17 May, 1610; d. at Martinique, 18 June, 1675. He entered the Jesuit ...
Pondicherry

Pondicherry

(PONDICHERIANA OR PUDICHERIANA) Located in India, it is bounded on the east by the Bay of ...
Pontefract Priory

Pontefract Priory

Located in Yorkshire, England, a Cluniac monastery dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, founded ...
Pontian, Pope Saint

Pope St. Pontian

Dates of birth and death unknown. The "Liber Pontificalis" (ed. Duchesne, I, 145) gives Rome ...
Pontifical Colleges

Pontifical Colleges

In earlier times there existed in Europe outside of the city of Rome a large number of ...
Pontifical Decorations

Pontifical Decorations

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

Pontifical Mass

Pontifical Mass is the solemn Mass celebrated by a bishop with the ceremonies prescribed in the ...
Pontificale

Pontificale

( Pontificale Romanum ). A liturgical book which contains the rites for the performance ...
Pontificalia

Pontificalia

(PONTIFICALS). The collective name given for convenience sake to those insignia of the ...
Pontigny, Abbey of

Abbey of Pontigny

Second daughter of Cîteaux, was situated on the banks of the Serain, present Diocese of ...
Pontius Carbonell

Pontius Carbonell

Born at Barcelona, c. ú died c. 1320. Pontius and Carbonell are names frequently met with ...
Pontius Pilate

Pontius Pilate

After the deposition of the eldest son of Herod, Archelaus (who had succeeded his father as ...
Pontus

Pontus

In ancient times, Pontus was the name of the north-eastern province of Asia Minor , a long ...
Pools in Scripture

Pools in Scripture

In the English Bibles, the word "pool" stands for three Hebrew words: (1) 'agam means properly ...
Poona

Poona

(PUNENSIS) Diocese in India, comprises that portion of the Bombay Presidency which lies on ...
Poor Brothers of St. Francis Seraphicus

Poor Brothers of St. Francis Seraphicus

A congregation of lay brothers of the Third Order of St. Francis, instituted for charitable ...
Poor Catholics

Poor Catholics

( Pauperes Catholici ) A religious mendicant order, organized in 1208, to reunite the ...
Poor Child Jesus, Sisters of the

Sisters of the Poor Child Jesus

A congregation founded at Aachen in 1844 for the support and education of poor, orphan, and ...
Poor Clares

Poor Clares

(POOR LADIES, SISTERS OF ST. CLARE) The Second Order of St. Francis. The subject will be treated ...
Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ

Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ

A community founded by Catherine Kasper, a native of Dernbach, Germany. She was born 26 May, 1820, ...
Poor Handmaids of the Mother of God

Poor Servants of the Mother of God

A religious congregation founded in 1808 by Mother Mary Magdalen Taylor in conjunction with ...
Poor Laws

Poor Laws

Poor Laws are those legal enactments which have been made at various periods of the world's ...
Poor, Care of, by the Church

Care of the Poor by the Church

I. OBJECTS, HISTORY, AND ORGANIZATION A. The care of the poor is a branch of charity. In the ...
Poor, Little Sisters of the

Little Sisters of the Poor

An active, unenclosed religious congregation founded at St Servan, Brittany, 1839, through the ...
Poor, Sisters of the, of St. Francis

Sisters of the Poor of St. Francis

A Congregation, founded by the Venerable Mother Frances Schervier at Aachen in the year 1845, ...
Popayán

Popayan

(POPAYANENSIS) Popayán lies approximately between 1º 20' and 3º 2' north ...
Pope, Alexander

Alexander Pope

Poet, son of Alexander Pope and his second wife, Edith Turner, b. in London, England, 22 May, ...
Pope, The

The Pope

( Ecclesiastical Latin papa from Greek papas , a variant of pappas father, in classical ...
Popes, Chronological Lists of the

Chronological Lists of Popes

See also POPE, LIST OF POPES, PAPAL ELECTIONS, ELECTION OF THE POPE. The historical lists ...
Popes, Election of the

Election of the Popes

For current procedures regarding the election of the pope, see Pope John Paul II's 1996 Apostolic ...
Popes, List of

List of Popes

See also POPE, PAPAL ELECTIONS, ELECTION OF THE POPE. St. Peter (32-67) St. Linus (67-76) ...
Poppo, Saint

St. Poppo

Abbot, born 977; died at Marchiennes, 25 January, 1048. He belonged to a noble family of ...
Popular Devotions

Popular Devotions

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

Overpopulation Theories

Down to the end of the eighteenth century, very little attention was given to the relation between ...
Porch (or Vestibule, in Architecture)

Vestibule (Porch)

A hall projecting in front of the façade of a church, found from the fifth century both ...
Pordenone, Giovanni Antonio

Giovanni Antonio Pordenone

Italian painter, b. at Pordenone, 1483; d. at Ferrara, January, 1539. He is occasionally referred ...
Pordenone, Ordric of

Odoric of Pordenone

A Franciscan missionary of a Czech family named Mattiussi, born at Villanova near Pordenone, ...
Pormort, Ven. Thomas

Ven. Thomas Pormort

English martyr, b. at Hull about 1559; d. at St. Paul's Churchyard, 20 Feb., 1592. He was probably ...
Porphyreon

Porphyreon

Titular see, suffragan of Tyre in Phoenicia Prima. It is described in the "Notitia Episcopatuum" ...
Porphyrius, Saint

St. Porphyrius

Bishop of Gaza in Palestine, b. at Thessalonica about 347; d. at Gaza, 26 February, 420. ...
Porrecta, Serafino

Serafino Porrecta

Family name Capponi, called a Porrecta from the place of birth, theologian, b. 1536; d. at Bologna, ...
Port Augusta

Port Augusta

(PORTAUGUSTANA) This diocese is a suffragan of Adelaide, South Australia, created in ...
Port Louis

Port Louis

(PORTUS LUDOVICI) This diocese comprises the islands of Mauritius, Rodriguez, Chagos, and ...
Port of Spain

Port of Spain

(PORTUS HISPANIÆ) An archiepiscopal and metropolitan see, including the Islands of ...
Port Victoria

Port Victoria

(PORTUS VICTORIÆ SEYCHELLARUM.) Port Victoria comprises the Seychelles Islands in the ...
Port-au-Prince

Port-Au-Prince

(PORTUS PRINCIPIS) This archdiocese comprises the western part of the Republic of Haiti. Its ...
Port-Royal

Port-Royal

A celebrated Benedictine abbey which profoundly influenced the religious and literary life of ...
Porta, Carlo

Carlo Porta

Poet, b. at Milan in 1775; d. there 5 January, 1821; educated by the Jesuits at Monza and ...
Porta, Giacomo della

Giacomo Della Porta

Architect and sculptor, b. at Porlizza on Lake Lugano 1541; d. 1604. He was a pupil of ...
Portable Altar

Portable Altar

A portable altar consists of a solid piece of natural stone which must be sufficiently hard to ...
Portalegre

Portalegre

Suffragan diocese of Lisbon, Portugal, established by Pope Julius III in 1550. Its first ...
Porter

Porter (Doorkeeper)

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

George Porter

Archbishop of Bombay, b. 1825 at Exeter, England ; d. at Bombay, 28 September, 1889. Of ...
Portiuncula

Portiuncula

(PORZIONCULA or PORZIUNCOLA). A town and parish situated about three-quarters of a mile from ...
Portland

Portland, Maine

Diocese in the State of Maine ; suffragan of Boston ; established by Pius IX, 8 Dec., 1854. ...
Porto Alegre

Porto Alegre

(PORTALEGRENSIS) Located in Eastern Brazil. Porto Alegre, the capital and chief port of the ...
Porto Alegre

Port Alegre

(PORTALEGREN) Porto Alegre comprises the southern part of the State of Minas Geraes, and part ...
Porto and Santa-Rufina

Porto and Santa-Rufina

(PORTUENSIS ET SANCTÆ RUFINÆ) This diocese was formed from the union of two ...
Porto Rico

Puerto Rico

(PUERTO RICO) The smallest and most easterly of the Greater Antilles, rectangular in shape, ...
Portoviejo

Portoviejo

(PORTUS VETERIS). A suffragan see of the Archdiocese of Quito, Republic of Ecuador. It was ...
Portraits of the Apostles

Portraits of the Apostles

The earliest fresco representing Christ surrounded by the Apostles dates from the beginning of ...
Portsmouth

Portsmouth

(PORTUS MAGNUS, or PORTEMUTHENSIS) This diocese was created by a Brief of Leo XIII , ...
Portugal

Portugal

I. GEOGRAPHY AND PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS Portugal is situated on the west of the Iberian ...
Portuguese East Africa

Portugues East Africa

Portuguese East Africa consists of the Province of Mozambique. Portuguese activity on that ...
Portuguese Literature

Portuguese Literature

The Portuguese language was developed gradually from the lingua rustica spoken in the countries ...
Portuguese West Africa

Portuguese West Africa

The name usually given to the Province of Angola. It has a coast line of 1015 miles from the ...
Positivism

Positivism

Positivism is a system of philosophical and religious doctrines elaborated by Auguste Comte. As ...
Possenti, Blessed Gabriel

Bl. Gabriel Possenti

Passionist student; renowned for sanctity and miracles ; born at Assisi, 1 March, 1838; died ...
Possession, Demonical

Demonic Possession

( See also DEMONOLOGY, DEMONIACS, EXORCISM, EXORCIST.) Man is in various ways subject to the ...
Possevinus, Antonius

Antonius Possevinus

Theologian and papal envoy, b. at Mantua in 1533 or 1534; d. at Ferrara, 26 Feb., 1611. At ...
Possidius, Saint

St. Possidius

Bishop of Calama in Numidia, author of a short life of St. Augustine and of an indiculus or ...
Postcommunion

Postcommunion

The Communion act finishes the essential Eucharistic service. Justin Martyr (I Apol., lxv-lxvi) ...
Postgate, Nicholas

Ven. Nicholas Postgate

English martyr, b. at Kirkdale House, Egton, Yorkshire, in 1596 or 1597; d. at York, 7 August, ...
Postulant

Postulant

Postulancy is a preliminary stage to the novitiate existing from the institution of monasticism. ...
Postulation

Postulation

( Latin postulare, to request) A postulation is a petition presented to a competent ...
Potawatomi Indians

Potawatomi Indians

An important tribe of Algonquin linguistic stock, closely related dialectically to the Ojibwa ...
Pothier, Robert Joseph

Robert Joseph Pothier

A celebrated French lawyer, b. at Orléans, 9 January, 1699; d. there, 2 March, 1772. His ...
Pouget, Jean-François-Albert du

Jean-Francois-Albert du Pouget

Marquis de Nadaillac, b. in 1817; d. at Rougemont, Cloyes, 1 October, 1904; the scion of an old ...
Pounde, Thomas

Thomas Pounde

Lay brother, b. at Beaumond (or Belmony), Farlington, Hampshire, 29 May, 1538; d. there, 26 Feb., ...
Poussin, Nicolas

Nicolas Poussin

French painter, b. at Les Andelys near Rouen in 1594; d. at Rome, 19 November, 1666. His early ...
Poverty

Poverty

I. THE MORAL DOCTRINE OF POVERTY Jesus Christ did not condemn the possession of worldly goods, or ...
Poverty and Pauperism

Poverty and Pauperism

See also CARE OF THE POOR BY THE CHURCH In a legal and technical sense, pauperism denotes the ...
Powel, Philip

Philip Powel

( alias M ORGAN, alias P ROSSER ) Martyr, b. at Tralon, Brecknockshire, 2 Feb., 1594; d. ...
Powell, Blessed Edward

Blessed Edward Powell

With Blessed Thomas Abel there suffered Edward Powell, priest and martyr, b. in Wales about ...
Poynter, William

William Poynter

Born 20 May, 1762, at Petersfield, Hants; died 26 Nov., 1827, in London. He was educated at the ...
Pozzo, Andreas

Andreas Pozzo

(P UTEUS ) Italian painter and architect of the Baroque period, b. at Trent, 1642; d. at ...
Pozzuoli

Pozzuoli

(PUTEOLANA) The city of Pozzuoli in the province of Naples, southern Italy, on the gulf of ...
Prémare, Joseph Henri Marie de

Joseph Henri Marie de Premare

Joseph Henri Marie de Prémare, missionary and sinologist, born at Cherbourg, 17 July, 1666; ...
Prémontré, Abbey of

Premontre

Located about twelve miles west of Laon, Department of Aisne, France ; founded by St. Norbert. ...
Prüm

Prum

A former Benedictine abbey in Lorraine, now in the Diocese of Trier, founded by a Frankish ...
Prades, Jean-Martin de

Jean-Martin de Prades

A theologian, born about 1720 at Castelsarrasin ( Diocese of Montauban ), died in 1782 at ...
Prado, Jerome de

Jerome de Prado

Exegete, b. at Baeza in Spain, 1547; d. at Rome, 13 Jan., 1595. He entered the Society of ...
Praelatus Nullius

Praelatus Nullius

(i.e. Dioceseos) A prelate who exercises quasi-episcopal jurisdiction in a territory not ...
Pragmatic Sanction

Pragmatic Sanction

( pragmatica sanctio , lex , jussio , also pragmatica or pragmaticum ) Pragmatic ...
Pragmatism

Pragmatism

Pragmatism, as a tendency in philosophy, signifies the insistence on usefulness or practical ...
Prague

Prague

(PRAGENSIS). An archdiocese in Bohemia. From about the middle of the sixth century Slavonic ...
Prague, University of

University of Prague

The University of Prague was founded by Charles IV with the consent of the Estates on the model ...
Praxeas

Praxeas

An early anti- Montanist, is known to us only by Tertullian's book "Adversus Praxean". His name ...
Praxedes and Pudentiana

Praxedes and Pudentia

Martyrs of an unknown era. The seventh-century itineraries to the graves of the Roman martyrs ...
Pray Brethren

Orate Fratres

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

George Pray

Abbot, canon, librarian of the University library of Buda, and important Hungarian historian, b. ...
Prayer

Prayer

(Greek euchesthai , Latin precari , French prier , to plead, to beg, to ask earnestly). ...
Prayer of Christ, Feast of the

Feast of the Prayer of Christ

This feast occurs on the Tuesday after Septuagesima (double major). Its object is to ...
Prayer of Quiet

Prayer of Quiet

The Prayer of Quiet is regarded by all writers on mystical theology as one of the degrees of ...
Prayer, Lord's

Lord's Prayer

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

Prayer-Books

By "prayer-books" usage generally understands a collection of forms of prayer intended for ...
Prayers for the Dead

Prayers For the Dead

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

Preacher Apostolic

A dignitary of the pontifical household. As a regular function, under special Regulations, this ...
Preachers, Order of

Order of Preachers

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

Preadamites

The supposed inhabitants of the earth prior to Adam. Strictly speaking, the expression ought to be ...
Prebend

Prebend

The right of a member of a chapter to his share in the revenues of the cathedral ; also the ...
Precaria

Precaria

( Preces , prayers ). A precaria is a contract granting to a petitioner the use and ...
Precedence

Precedence

( Latin præcedere , to go before another). Precedence signifies the right to enjoy ...
Precentor

Precentor

(Latin Præcentor , from præ , before- cantor singer). A word describing ...
Precept

Canonical Precept

( Precept: From the Latin præceptum from præcipere , to command). Precept , ...
Precious Blood

Precious Blood

The blood of our Divine Saviour. Jesus, at the Last Supper, ascribes to it the same life-giving ...
Precious Blood, Archconfraternity of the Most

Archconfraternity of the Most Precious Blood

Confraternities which made it their special object to venerate the Blood of Christ first arose in ...
Precious Blood, Congregation of the Most

Congregation of the Most Precious Blood

An association of secular priests living in community, whose principal aim is to give missions ...
Precious Blood, Congregations of the

Congregations of the Precious Blood

I. BERNADINES OF THE PRECIOUS BLOOD A congregation of nuns, no longer in existence, founded by ...
Precious Blood, Feast of the Most

Feast of the Most Precious Blood

For many dioceses there are two days to which the Office of the Precious Blood has been ...
Precipiano, Humbert-Guillaume de, Count

Humbert-Guillaume de Precipiano

Born at Besançon, 1626; died at Brussels, 7 June, 1711. Having studied the classics at ...
Preconization

Preconization

(Latin præconizare , to publish, from præco , herald, public crier) This word ...
Predestinarianism

Predestinarianism

Predestinarianism is a heresy not unfrequently met with in the course of the centuries which ...
Predestination

Predestination

Predestination ( Latin prœ , destinare ), taken in its widest meaning, is every Divine ...
Preface

Preface

( Latin Præfatio ). The first part of the Eucharistic prayers ( Anaphora or Canon) in ...
Prefect Apostolic

Prefect Apostolic

( Latin prœfectus, one put over or in charge of something) During the last few ...
Prefecture Apostolic (Supplemental List)

Prefecture Apostolic

(SUPPLEMENTAL LIST) An account is here given of the prefectures Apostolic that have been ...
Prelate

Prelate

Real Prelate, the incumbent of a prelature, i.e., of an ecclesiastical office with special and ...
Premonstratensian Canons

Premonstratensian Canons

(C ANONICI R EGULARES P RÆMONSTRATENSES ). Founded in 1120 by St. Norbert at ...
Presbyterianism

Presbyterianism

Presbyterianism in a wide sense is the system of church government by representative assemblies ...
Presbytery

Presbytery

The part of the church reserved for the higher clergy was known in antiquity by various names, ...
Prescription

Prescription

(Latin prœ , before, and scribere , to write, in later legal Latin involving the idea ...
Prescription in Civil Jurisprudence

Prescription in Civil Jurisprudence

Prescription "in some form and under some name" is said to have existed as a part of the municipal ...
Presence of God

Presence of God

Doctrinal All solid devotion and devotional practices must be founded upon the truths of ...
Presence, Real

The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist

In this article we shall consider: the fact of the Real Presence , which is, indeed, the central ...
Presentation Brothers

Presentation Brothers

In the early part of the nineteenth century when the Penal Laws were relaxed, and the ban which ...
Presentation of Mary, Congregation of the

Congregation of the Presentation of Mary

This congregation, devoted to the education of young girls, was founded in 1796 at Theuyts, ...
Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Feast of the

Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Protoevangel of James, the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, the Gospel of the Nativity of Mary, and ...
Presentation, Feast of the

Candlemas

Also called: Purification of the Blessed Virgin (Greek Hypapante ), Feast of the Presentation of ...
Presentation, Order of the

Order of the Presentation

An Order founded at Cork, Ireland, by Nano (Honoria) Nagle (see below). In 1775 she entered with ...
Presentation, Religious Congregations of the

Religious Congregations of the Presentation

(1) Daughters of the Presentation , founded in 1627 by Nicolas Sanguin (b. 1580; d. 1653), ...
Presentation, Right of

Right of Presentation

Out of gratitude for the foundation or endowment of churches and benefices, the Church grants ...
Prester John

Prester John

Name of a legendary Eastern priest and king. FIRST STAGE The mythical journey to Rome of a ...
Preston, Thomas

Thomas Preston

( Alias R OGER W IDDRINGTON ). Benedictine, d. in the Clink prison, 5 April, 1640. He ...
Preston, Thomas Scott

Thomas Scott Preston

The Vicar-General of New York, prothonotary Apostolic, chancellor, distinguished convert, ...
Presumption

Presumption

(Latin praesumere , "to take before", "to take for granted"). Presumption is here ...
Presumption

Presumption

(IN CANON LAW) A term signifying a reasonable conjecture concerning something doubtful, drawn ...
Pretorium

Pretorium

This name is derived from the Latin prætorium, in later Greek tò ...
Pride

Pride

Pride is the excessive love of one's own excellence. It is ordinarily accounted one of the seven ...
Priene

Priene

A titular see of Asia Minor, suffragan of Ephesus. The foundation of the town of Priene dates ...
Priest

Priest

This word (etymologically "elder", from presbyteros , presbyter ) has taken the meaning of ...
Priest, Assistant

Assistant Priest

The assistant priest ( presbyter assistens , anciently called capellanus ) is the first and ...
Priest, High

The High Priest

The high-priest in the Old Testament is called by various names: the priest ( Numbers 3:6 ); ...
Priesthood

Priesthood

The word priest (Germ. Priester ; Fr. prêtre ; Ital. prete ) is derived from the ...
Priestly Perseverance, Association of

Association of Priestly Perseverance

A sacerdotal association founded in 1868 at Vienna, and at first confined to that Archdiocese. ...
Priests' Communion League

Priests' Communion League

An association of priests established at Rome on 20 July, 1906, in the Church of San ...
Priests' Eucharistic League

Priests' Eucharistic League

I. Object The Priests' Eucharistic League (Confraternitas sacerdotalis adorationis Sanctissimi ...
Priests, Confraternities of

Confraternities of Priests

Three confraternities of priests -- the Apostolic Union, the Priests' Eucharistic League, ...
Primacy

Primacy

(Latin primatus, primus , first). The supreme episcopal jurisdiction of the pope as ...
Primadicci, James

James Primadicci

(Or Primadizzi.) Born at Bologna; died in the same city in 1460. As early as the year 1426 he ...
Primate

Primate

(Lat. primas, from primus, "first"). In the Western Church a primate is a bishop ...
Prime

Prime

I. THE NAME The name Prime ( prima hora ) belongs with those of Terce, Sext, None, to the ...
Primer, The

The Primer

The common English name for a book of devotions which from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century ...
Primicerius

Primicerius

(Etymologically primus in cera , sc. in tabula cerata , the first in a list of a class of ...
Primus and Felician, Saints

Sts. Primus and Felician

Suffered martyrdom about 304 in the Diocletian persecution. The "Martyrologium Hieronymianum" ...
Prince Albert, Diocese of

Prince Albert

A suffragan see of St. Boniface, Manitoba, in the Province of Saskatchewan, Canada. Originally ...
Prior

Prior

A monastic superior. In the Rule of St. Benedict the term prior occurs several times, but ...
Prioress

Prioress

(Priorissa, Praeposita). A superioress in a monastic community for women. The term prioress ...
Priory

Priory

A monastery whose superior is a prior. The Dominicans, Augustinian Hermits, Carthusians, ...
Prisca, Saint

St. Prisca

She was a martyr of the Roman Church, whose dates are unknown. The name Prisca or Priscilla ...
Priscianus

Priscianus

Latin grammarian, born at Caesarea (Mauretania) , taught at Constantinople under Anastatius I ...
Priscilla and Aquila

Aquila and Priscilla

( Or Prisca.) Jewish tentmakers, who left Rome (Aquila was a native of Pontus ) in the ...
Priscillianism

Priscillianism

This heresy originated in Spain in the fourth century and was derived from the Gnostic - ...
Prisons

Prisons

I. IN ANCIENT TIMES Many jurisconsults and Scriptural interpreters include imprisonment among ...
Prisons, Ecclesiastical

Ecclesiastical Prisons

It is plain from many decrees in the "Corpus Juris Canonici" that the Church has claimed and ...
Privilege

Privilege

( Latin, privilegium , like priva lex ) Privilege is a permanent concession made by a ...
Privileged Altar

Privileged Altar

An altar is said to be privileged when, in addition to the ordinary fruits of the Eucharistic ...
Privileges, Ecclesiastical

Ecclesiastical Privileges

Ecclesiastical privileges are exceptions to the Law made in favour of the clergy or in favour ...
Proba, Faltonia

Faltonia Proba

A Christian poetess of the fourth century. The name Faltonia is doubtful and is apparently due ...
Probabilism

Probabilism

Probabilism is the moral system which holds that, when there is question solely of the ...
Probus, Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius Probus

Roman Emperor, 276-82, raised to the throne by the army in Syria to succeed Tacitus. Of humble ...
Probus, Tarachus, and Andronicus, Saints

Sts. Tarachus, Probus, and Andronicus

Martyrs of the Diocletian persecution (about 304). The "Martyrologium Hieronymian." contains the ...
Processional Cross

Processional Cross

A processional cross is simply a crucifix which is carried at the head of a procession, and ...
Processional, Roman

Roman Processional

Strictly speaking it might be said that the Processional has no recognized place in the Roman ...
Processions

Processions

Processions, an element in all ceremonial, are to be found, as we should expect, in almost every ...
Processus and Martinian, Saints

Sts. Processus and Martinian

The dates of these martyrs are unknown. The "Martyrologium Hieronymianum" (ed. De ...
Proclus, Saint

St. Proclus

Patriarch of Constantinople. Saint Proclus died in 446 or 447. Proclus came to the fore in the ...
Proconnesus

Proconnesus

(PRŒCONNESUS) A titular see in Hellespont. Proconnesus was the name of an island ...
Procopius of Caesarea

Procopius of Caesarea

Byzantine historian, b. in the latter years of the fifth century at Caesarea in Palestine , d. ...
Procter, Adelaide Anne

Adelaide Anne Procter

Poetess and philanthropist, b. in London, England, 30 October, 1825; d. in London, 2 February, ...
Procurator

Procurator

A person who manages the affairs of another by virtue of a charge received from him. There are ...
Profession, Religious

Religious Profession

HISTORICAL VIEW Profession may be considered either as a declaration openly made, or as a state ...
Promise, Divine

Divine Promise (In Scripture)

The term promise in Holy Writ both in its nominal and verbal form embraces not only promises ...
Promotor Fidei

Promotor Fidei

(P ROMOTER OF THE F AITH ). An official of the Roman Congregation of Rites. The office ...
Promulgation

Promulgation

( Latin promulgare, to make known, to post in public). I. PROMULGATION IN GENERAL This is the ...
Proof

Proof

Proof is the establishment of a disputed or controverted matter by lawful means or arguments. ...
Propaganda, Sacred Congregation of

Sacred Congregation of Propaganda

The Sacred Congregation de Propaganda Fide , whose official title is "sacra congregatio ...
Propagation of the Faith, The Society for the

Society for the Propagation of the Faith

This society is an international association for the assistance by prayers and alms of ...
Property

Property

I. NOTION OF PROPERTY The proprietor or owner of a thing, in the current acceptation of the word, ...
Property, Ecclesiastical

Church Property

Abstract Right of Ownership That the Church has the right to acquire and possess temporal ...
Property, Ecclesiastical, in the United States

Ecclesiastical Property in the United States

The Third Plenary Council of Baltimore decreed (tit. IX, cap. i, n. 264): "We must hold, ...
Prophecy

Prophecy

As the term is used in mystical theology , it applies both to the prophecies of canonical ...
Prophecy, Prophet, and Prophetess

Prophecy, Prophet, and Prophetess

I. IN THE OLD TESTAMENT A. Introduction Yahweh had forbidden Israel all kinds of oracles in ...
Proprium

Proprium

The Proprium de tempore and the Proprium Sanctorum form in the present liturgy the two ...
Proschko, Franz Isidor

Franz Isidor Proschko

A well-known Austrian author, born at Hohenfurt, Bohemia, 2 April, 1816; died at Vienna, 6 ...
Prose or Sequence

Prose or Sequence

I. DEFINITION AND GENERAL DESCRIPTION The Sequence ( Sequentia )–or, more accurately as ...
Proselyte

Proselyte

( proselytos , stranger or newcomer; Vulgate, advena ). The English term "proselyte" ...
Proske, Karl

Karl Proske

Born at Grobing in Upper Silesia, 11 Feb., 1794; died 20 Dec., 1861. He took his degree as Doctor ...
Prosper of Aquitaine, Tiro

Tiro Prosper of Aquitaine

The first sure date in the life of Prosper is that of his letter to St. Augustine written ...
Protasius and Gervasius, Saints

Sts. Gervasius and Protasius

Martyrs of Milan, probably in the second century, patrons of the city of Milan and of ...
Protector, Altar

Altar Protector

A cover made of cloth, baize or velvet which is placed on the table of the altar, during the ...
Protectorate of Missions

Protectorate of Missions

The right of protection exercised by a Christian power in an infidel country with regard to ...
Protectories

Protectories

The institutions for the shelter and training of the young, designed to afford neglected or ...
Protestant Episcopal Church

Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America

The history of this religious organization divides itself naturally into two portions: the period ...
Protestantism

Protestantism

The subject will be treated under the following heads, viz.: I. Origin of the Name. II. ...
Prothonotary Apostolic

Prothonotary Apostolic

A member of the highest college of prelates in the Roman Curia, and also of the honorary ...
Protocol

Protocol

The formula used at the beginning of public acts drawn up by notaries, e.g., mention of the reign, ...
Protopope

Protopope

A priest of higher rank in the Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Churches, corresponding in ...
Protus and Hyacinth, Saints

Sts. Protus and Hyacinth

Martyrs during the persecution of Valerian (257-9). The day of their annual commemoration is ...
Prout, Father

Father Prout

The name by which the Rev. Francis Sylvester Mahony (O'Mahony), author of "The Bells of ...
Provancher, Léon Abel

Leon Abel Provancher

Naturalist, b. 10 March, 1820, in the parish of Béconcourt, Nicolet county, Province of ...
Proverbs, Book of

Proverbs

One of the Sapiential writings of the Old Testament placed in the Hebrew Bible among the ...
Providence, Congregations of (I)

Daughters of Providence

Founded at Paris, by Madame Polaillon (Marie de Lumague), a devout widow. In 1643 Madame ...
Providence, Congregations of (II)

Sisters of Providence

(St. Mary-of-the-Woods) Among the teaching religious orders that originated in France at ...
Providence, Congregations of (III)

Sisters of Charity of Providence

SISTERS OF CHARITY The Sisters of xxyyyk.htm">Providence, known also as Sisters of ...
Providence, Congregations of (IV)

Sisters of Sainte Anne of Providence

Founded at Turin in 1834 by the Marchesa Julia Falletti de Barolo for the care of children and ...
Providence, Congregations of (V)

Sisters of the Institute of Charity of Providence

SISTERS OF THE INSTITUTE OF CHARITY An offshoot from the Sisters of xxyyyk.htm">Providence, ...
Providence, Diocese of

Providence, Rhode Island

(PROVIDENTIENSIS) Co-extensive with the State of Rhode Island . When erected (17 Feb., 1872) ...
Providence, Divine

Divine Providence

( Latin, Providentia ; Greek, pronoia ). Providence in general, or foresight, is a ...
Province, Ecclesiastical

Ecclesiastical Province

The name given to an ecclesiastical administrative district under the jurisdiction of an ...
Provincial

Provincial

An officer acting under the superior general of a religious order, and exercising a general ...
Provincial Council

Provincial Council

A deliberative assembly of the bishops of an ecclesiastical province, summoned and presided ...
Provision, Canonical

Canonical Provincial

Canonical Provision is a term signifying regular induction into a benefice, comprising three ...
Provisors, Statute of

Statue of Provisors

The English statute usually so designated is the 25th of Edward III, St. 4 (1350-1), otherwise ...
Provost

Provost

(Latin, prœpositus; French, prévôt; German, Probst ) Anciently (St. ...
Prudence

Prudence

(Latin prudentia , contracted from providentia , seeing ahead). One of the four ...
Prudentius

Prudentius

(GALINDO) A Bishop of Troyes, born in Spain ; died at Troyes on 6 April, 861; celebrated ...
Prudentius, Aurelius Clemens

Aurelius Clemens Prudentius

A Christian poet, born in the Tarraconensis, Northern Spain, 348; died probably in Spain, ...
Prusias ad Hypium

Prusias Ad Hypium

Titular see, suffragan of Claudiopolis in the Honoriad. Memnon, the historian, says that Prusias ...
Prussia

Prussia

The Kingdom of Prussia at the present time covers 134,616 square miles and includes about 64.8 ...
Przemysl

Przemysl

(PREMISLIENSIS) Latin see in Galicia, suffragan of Lemberg. After conquering Halicz and ...
Przemysl, Sambor, and Sanok

Przemysl, Sambor, and Sanok

(PREMISLIENSIS, SAMBORIENSIS, ET SANOCHIENSIS) A Græco-Ruthenian Uniat diocese of ...
Psalms

Psalms

The Psalter, or Book of Psalms, is the first book of the "Writings" ( Kethubhim or Hagiographa ...
Psalms, Alphabetic

Alphabetic Psalms

Alphabetic psalms are so called because their successive verses, or successive parallel series, ...
Psalterium

Psalterium

The Psalterium, or Book of the Psalms, only concerns us here in so far as it was transcribed ...
Psaume, Nicholas

Nicholas Psaume

(also PSAULME, PREAUME, Latin PSALMÆUS) Bishop of Verdun, born at Chaumont-sur-Aire in ...
Psellus, Michael

Michael Psellus

( Michael ho Psellos ), Byzantine statesman, scholar, and author, born apparently at ...
Psychology

Psychology

(Greek psyche, logos ; Latin psychologia; French psychologie; German Seelenkunde ) In ...
Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy

(from the Greek psyche , "mind", and therapeuo , "I cure") Psychotherapy is that ...
Ptolemais

Ptolemais

Ptolemais, a titular see in Egypt, metropolis of Thebais Secunda. Ptolemais owes its name to ...
Ptolemais

Ptolemais

(SAINT-JEAN D'ACRE) Ptolemais, a titular metropolis in Phoenicia Prima, or Maritima. The ...
Ptolemy the Gnostic

Ptolemy the Gnostic

A heretic of the second century and personal disciple of Valentinus. He was probably still ...
Public Authority

Civil Authority

Civil Authority is the moral power of command, supported (when need be) by physical coercion, ...
Public Honesty (Decency)

Public Honesty (Decency)

A diriment matrimonial impediment consisting in a relationship, which arises from a valid ...
Publican

Publican

Publican , in the Gospels, is derived from the publicanus of the Vulgate, and signifies a ...
Pueblo Indians

Pueblo Indians

NAME From the Spanish word meaning "village" or "town". A term used collectively to designate ...
Puget, Pierre

Pierre Puget

A painter, sculptor, architect, and naval constructor, born at Marseilles, 31 Oct., 1622; died ...
Pugh, George Ellis

George Ellis Pugh

A jurist and statesman, born at Cincinnati, Ohio., 28 November, 1822; died there, 19 July, 1876. ...
Pugin, Augustus Welby Northmore

Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin

Architect and archeologist, born in London, 1 March, 1812; died at Ramsgate, 14 September, 1852; ...
Puiseux, Victor-Alexandre

Victor-Alexandre Puiseux

French mathematician and astronomer, b. 16 April, 1820, at Argenteuil (Seine-et-Oise); d. 9 ...
Pulaski, Casimir

Casimir Pulaski

Patriot and soldier, b. at Winiary, Poland, 4 March, 1748; d. on the Wasp, in the harbour of ...
Pulati

Pulati

(The Diocese of Pulati: Pulatensis or Polatinensis ). The ancient Pulati in Albania no ...
Pulcheria, Saint

Saint Pulcheria

Empress of the Eastern Roman Empire, eldest daughter of the Emperor Arcadius, b. 19 Jan., 399; d. ...
Pulci, Luigi

Luigi Pulci

An Italian poet, born at Florence, 15 Aug., 1432; died at Padua in 1484. The Pulci gave many ...
Pullen, Robert

Robert Pullen

(POLENIUS, PULLAN, PULLEIN, PULLENUS, PULLY, LA POULE) See also ROBERT PULLEN. Died 1147 (?). ...
Pullus, Robert

Robert Pullus

(PULLEN, PULLAN, PULLY.) See also ROBERT PULLEN. Cardinal, English philosopher and ...
Pulpit

Pulpit

( Latin pulpitum , a stage or scaffold) An elevated stand to preach on. To elucidate the ...
Punishment, Capital

Capital Punishment (Death Penalty)

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

Puno

DIOCESE OF PUNO (PUNIENSIS) Suffragan of the Archdiocese of Lima in Peru. Its jurisdiction ...
Purcell, John Baptist

John Baptist Purcell

Archbishop of Cincinnati, born at Mallow, Ireland, 26 Feb., 1800; died at the convent of the ...
Purgative Way

State Or Way (Purgative, Illuminative, Unitive)

The word state is used in various senses by theologians and spiritual writers. It may be ...
Purgatorial Societies

Purgatorial Societies

Pious associations or confraternities in the Catholic Church, which have as their purpose to ...
Purgatory

Purgatory

The subject is treated under these heads: I. Catholic Doctrine II. Errors III. Proofs IV. Duration ...
Purgatory, St. Patrick's

St. Patrick's Purgatory

Lough Derg, Ireland. This celebrated sanctuary in Donegal, in the Diocese of Clogher, dates ...
Purim

Purim

(P HURIM ). The origin of the name is disputed: some derive it from the Persian pure ...
Puritans

Puritans

One of the chief difficulties in studying the various movements loosely spoken of as Puritanism is ...
Pusey and Puseyism

Pusey and Puseyism

Edward Bouverie Pusey, born at Pusey House, Berkshire, 22 Aug., 1800; died at Ascot Priory, ...
Pustet

Pustet

The name of a family of well-known Catholic publishers. The original home of the Pustets was ...
Putative Marriage

Putative Marriage

Putative (Latin, putativus supposed) signifies that which is commonly thought, reputed, or ...
Puteanus, Erycius

Erycius Puteanus

(ERRIJCK DE PUT) Born at Venloo, in Dutch Limbourg, 4 Nov., 1574; died at Louvain, 17 Sept., ...
Putzer, Joseph

Joseph Putzer

Theologian and canonist, b. at Rodaneck, Tyrol, 4 March, 1836; d. at Ilchester, Md., 15 May, ...
Puvis de Chavannes, Pierre

Pierre Puvis de Chavannes

French painter, b. at Lyons, 14 Dec., 1824; d. at Paris, 24 Oct., 1898. Through his father ...
Puyallup Indians

Puyallup Indians

An important tribe of Salishan linguistic stock, formerly holding the territory along the river of ...
Pyrker, Johann Ladislaus von Oberwart

Johann Ladislaus von Oberwart Pryker

(FELSÖ-EÖR) He was born at Langh near Stuhlweissenburg, Hungary, 2 Nov., 1772; died ...
Pyrrhonism

Pyrrhonism

Pyrrhonism is a system of scepticism, the founder of which was Pyrrho, a Greek philosopher, ...
Pythagoras and Pythagoreanism

Pythagoras and Pythagoreanism

Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher and mathematician and founder of the Pythagorean school, ...
Pyx

Pyx

The word pyx (Lat., pyxis , which transliterates the Greek, pyxis , box-wood receptacle, ...

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