inquisition, canonical

(Latin: inquirere, to investigate)

The preliminary inquiry that must be made according to canon law into any accusation against a cleric before admonishing or putting him on trial. Should the investigation justify further judicial procedure, an auditor is appointed to collect testimony for as well as against the accused. Precaution mus:t be taken against publicity and for the proper hearing of the one under investigation.

New Catholic Dictionary

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