noun(the secular arm)
The legal authority of the civil power as invoked by the church to punish offenders.
- To protect their understanding of Christian freedom, these Lutherans refused to be compelled in matters of church usages when the secular arm of authority was forcing the issue.
- The so-called ultramontanes believed that the state should serve as the secular arm of the Church and enforce its monopoly of the truth against all rival ideologies.
- In Western Christendom the Church of Rome exercised spiritual domination and was not reluctant to use the secular arm - that is, the civil authorities and their armies - to ensure conformity in doctrine and practice.
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Syllabification: sec·u·lar arm
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