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n. pl. con·sis·to·ries
a. Roman Catholic Church An assembly of cardinals presided over by the pope for the solemn promulgation of papal acts, such as the canonization of a saint.
b. A governing body of a local congregation in certain Reformed churches.
c. A court appointed to regulate ecclesiastical affairs in Lutheran state churches.
d. An Anglican diocesan court presided over by a bishop's chancellor or commissary.
2. The meeting of a consistory.
3. A council; a tribunal.

[Middle English consistorie, from Old French, from Latin cōnsistōrium, place of assembly, from cōnsistere, to stand together; see consist.]

con′sis·to′ri·al (kŏn′sĭ-stôr′ē-əl) adj.


n, pl -ries
1. (Ecclesiastical Terms) Church of England
a. the court of a diocese (other than Canterbury) administering ecclesiastical law
b. the area in a church where the consistory meets
2. (Roman Catholic Church) RC Church an assembly of the cardinals and the pope
3. (Protestantism) (in certain Reformed Churches) the governing body of a local congregation or church
4. archaic a council or assembly
[C14: from Old French consistorie, from Medieval Latin consistōrium ecclesiastical tribunal, ultimately from Latin consistere to stand still]
consistorial, ˌconsisˈtorian adj


(kənˈsɪs tə ri)

n., pl. -ries.
1. any of various ecclesiastical councils or tribunals.
2. the place where such a body meets.
3. the meeting of any such body.
4. a solemn assembly of Roman Catholic cardinals summoned and presided over by the pope.
5. a bishop's court in the Anglican Church for dealing with ecclesiastical and spiritual questions.
6. the local governing board of certain Reform churches.
7. any assembly or council.
8. Obs. a council chamber.
[1275–1325; Middle English consistorie < Anglo-French < Late Latin consistōrium meeting place]
con•sis•to•ri•al (ˌkɒn sɪˈstɔr i əl, -ˈstoʊr-) con`sis•to′ri•an, adj.


 a solemn council; a court; an ecclesiastical senate. See also conclave.
Examples: consistory of bishops, of martyrs, 1641; of saints, 1641; of senators, 1660.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.consistory - a church tribunal or governing bodyconsistory - a church tribunal or governing body
court, judicature, tribunal - an assembly (including one or more judges) to conduct judicial business
References in classic literature ?
There were a great many bundles of papers on it, some endorsed as Allegations, and some (to my surprise) as Libels, and some as being in the Consistory Court, and some in the Arches Court, and some in the Prerogative Court, and some in the Admiralty Court, and some in the Delegates' Court; giving me occasion to wonder much, how many Courts there might be in the gross, and how long it would take to understand them all.
But, after reviewing the case last month, Glyn Samuel, deputy chancellor of the Diocese of Coventry, overrode the church's rules in the Consistory Court of the Diocese of Coventry, to give consent.
Some parishioners of Berwick objected strongly to the project and entered an Act of Petition so that the case had to be tried before a Consistory Court.
In a statement to the Church of England's Consistory Court, which is responsible for approving applications, it said there was a need to "reach the marginalised and the unchurched" and there's a desire to be "more attractive" to younger families.
The Church of England's Consistory Court , which is responsible for approving applications, has ruled against the proposal.
Church of England Consistory Court judge Phillip Petchey ruled the circumstances were "exceptional" and the exhumation could go ahead in South London despite objections from Mr McGrory's siblings.
In a 7,000-word judgement, the Church of England's consistory court dismissed claims the skull was snatched from Shakespeare's tomb.
The Deputy Chancellor of Hereford Consistory Court has disallowed the retuning of six eighteenth-century bells housed in St Michael's church, Michaelchurch Escley.
And now, notoriously, the Consistory Court of the Diocese of London has given the parish permission to sell the large painting of Devout Men Taking the Body of St Stephen (1776), which the artist, Benjamin West, intended as an altarpiece.
St Mary's Church, in Grassendale, had to go to the Church of England's Consistory Court after two members of the congregation objected to the plan.
Philip, a father of two from Lynesack, near Bishop Auckland, said: "The kind of matters I dealt with ranged from planning applications to alter church buildings to the consistory court of the Diocese, to advising Bishops, Archdeacons, senior clergy and other officers, the appointments of vicars to parishes and finding a way through family disputes over exhumations.
Judge Paul Downes, chancellor of the Diocese of Wakefield and a judge of the Church of England's Consistory Court, refused permission to move both tombs following her appeal.