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874

Glossary

above all the Eucharist, in the

distribution of Holy Communion,

in assisting at and blessing

marriages, in the proclamation

of the Gospel and preaching,

in presiding over funerals, and

in dedicating themselves to the

various ministries of charity.

While the Churches of the East

have always had a functioning

order of deacons, in the West

the permanent diaconate was

reestablished by the Second

Vatican Council (1569, 1571).

DECALOGUE:

The Ten

Commandments (literally,

“ten words”) given by God

to Moses on Sinai. In order to

be faithful to the teaching of

Jesus, the Decalogue must be

interpreted in the light of the great

commandment of love of God

and neighbor (2055, 2056).

See

Commandment.

DEFINITION, DOGMATIC:

A solemn declaration by an

ecumenical council or by the Pope

that a doctrine is revealed by

God and must be believed by the

universal Church; such definitions

are called infallible, and must be

adhered to with the obedience of

faith (891).

DEMON:

See

Devil/Demon.

DEPOSIT OF FAITH:

The

heritage of faith contained in

Sacred Scripture and Tradition,

handed on in the Church from

the time of the Apostles, from

which the Magisterium draws all

that it proposes for belief as being

divinely revealed (84; cf. 1202).

DESCENT INTO HELL:

An

article in the Apostles’ Creed

referring to the victory over death

and sin which Christ won by

being “raised from the dead.”

Jesus, like all people, experienced

death and in his soul joined the

others in the realm of the dead,

where he descended as Savior,

proclaiming the Gospel to the

spirits imprisoned there in order

to free the just ones who had gone

before him (632).

DESPAIR:

The abandonment

of hope in salvation and the

forgiveness of sins (2091).

DETRACTION:

Disclosure of

another’s faults and sins, without

an objectively valid reason, to

persons who did not know about

them, thus causing unjust injury

to that person’s reputation (2477).

DEVELOPMENT, DOCTRINAL:

Growth in the understanding of

God’s revelation, which continues

through the contemplation and

study of believers, theological

research, and the preaching of the

Magisterium (94).

DEVIL/DEMON:

A fallen angel,

who sinned against God by

refusing to accept his reign. Satan

or the devil, the Evil One, and the

other demons were at first good

angels, created naturally good,

who became evil by their own

doing (391, 1707; cf. 2851).

DIACONATE:

See

Deacon,

Diaconate.

DIOCESE:

A “particular

church,” a community of the

faithful in communion of faith

and sacraments whose bishop

has been ordained in apostolic

succession. A diocese is usually

a determined geographic area;

sometimes it may be constituted

as a group of people of the same

rite or language. In Eastern

churches, an eparchy (833).