Dispensation involves the Pope giving advance permission to commit a sin.

Examples of a dispensation are the Pope granting an abortion or divorce, or, the most common, a priest getting married.

Currently Pope John Paul II hasn't granted any dispensations that I know of, but they can be anything. Historically, people of wealth but more of power get them granted.

The fiasco over Henry VIII and divorce spawned the Church of England fiasco.

Another name for dispensation is indult

Dis`pen*sa"tion (?), n. [F. dispensation, L. dispensatio.]


The act of dispensing or dealing out; distribution; often used of the distribution of good and evil by God to man, or more generically, of the acts and modes of his administration.

To respect the dispensations of Providence. Burke.


That which is dispensed, dealt out, or appointed; that which is enjoined or bestowed

; especially Theol.,

a system of principles, promises, and rules ordained and administered; scheme; economy; as, the Patriarchal, Mosaic, and Christian dispensations.

Neither are God's methods or intentions different in his dispensations to each private man. Rogers.


The relaxation of a law in a particular case; permission to do something forbidden, or to omit doing something enjoined; specifically, in the Roman Catholic Church, exemption from some ecclesiastical law or obligation to God which a man has incurred of his own free will (oaths, vows, etc.).

A dispensation was obtained to enable Dr. Barrow to marry. Ward.


© Webster 1913.

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