decretal

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de·cre·tal

 (dĭ-krēt′l)
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.]

decretal

(dɪˈkriːtəl)
n
(Roman Catholic Church) RC Church a papal edict on doctrine or church law
adj
(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

de•cre•tal

(dɪˈkrit l)

adj.
1. pertaining to, of the nature of, or containing a decree.
n.
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,
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.