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n. Roman Catholic Church
A decree, especially a papal letter giving a decision on a point or question of canon law.

[Middle English, from Old French decretale, from Late Latin dēcrētālis, fixed by decree, from Latin dēcrētum, principle, decision; see decree.]


(Roman Catholic Church) RC Church a papal edict on doctrine or church law
(Roman Catholic Church) of or relating to a decretal or a decree
[C15: from Old French, from Late Latin dēcrētālis; see decree]
deˈcretalist, deˈcretist n


(dɪˈkrit l)

1. pertaining to, of the nature of, or containing a decree.
2. a papal decree authoritatively determining some point of doctrine or church law.
[1350–1400; Middle English < Old French < Late Latin dēcrētālis fixed by decree = Latin dēcrēt(um) decree + -ālis -al1]
References in classic literature ?
He had taken his place by turns, as the reader has seen, in the conferences of the theologians in Sorbonne,--in the assemblies of the doctors of art, after the manner of Saint-Hilaire,--in the disputes of the decretalists, after the manner of Saint-Martin,--in the congregations of physicians at the holy water font of Notre- Dame, ad cupam Nostroe-Dominoe .
Gratian's broad use of the term bellum may be seen still operative nearly a hundred years later in the work of the Decretalist Henry of Suse (Hostiensis).
His analysis of this concept is confined to thirteenth-century decretals and their decretalist commentators.
It is of note that the great decretalist Hostiensis specifically rejected Innocent's argument and revived the theory of the early 13th-century canonist Alanus Anglicus that infidels had no right to dominion and property, inasmuch as dominion pertained only to those who live by the grace of Christ.
The first contains the following: the bibliography of all the works and studies quoted and consulted (VII-XVII); the introduction (XXI-XLV) by the principal editor Enzo Cecchini, containing a biography of Uguccione (doubts still linger as to whether we have one or two persons called Uguccione: one the decretalist, the other the lexicographer); comments on the Derivationes; and the explanation of the criteria employed in this edition, which is based primarily on its three major codices: "Si tratta del Laurenziano XXVII 5, del Londinese, Brit.