(Latin: in, not; fama, reputation)

A vindictive, canonical penalty by which one is deprived in whole or part of good name, on account of grave moral fault or crime, often accompanied by public disgrace. Both clerics and laics may be subject to infamy. Canonically there are two kinds, infamia juris (infamy of or by law) and infamia facti (infamy of or by fact). Infamy of law is that resulting from an explicit pronouncement of the law, as a penalty for certain crimes, such as apostasy, heresy, schism. Infamy of fact is that arising from crime committed or immoral character, followed by loss of reputation among serious, right-minded Catholics. Canon law enumerates the grave effects of infamy, such as irregularity, disqualification for ecclesiastical office, exclusion from the Holy Eucharist, etc. Infamy of law ceases only by dispensation of the Holy See; infamy of fact, by penance and amendment, causing reestablishment of lost reputation, in the judgment of the bishop.

New Catholic Dictionary

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