• Latin: nepos, nephew


Preferment shown by rulers to relatives in the bestowal of offices on grounds of relationship rather than those of merit. Historically, the term is appled to the policy of some of the earlier popes of putting relatives into positions of responsibilities and honor in the Church. This was done sometimes for unworthy motives (Sixtus IV and Alexander VI), sometimes in the interest of the Church (Paul IV and Pius II). Innocent XII gave nepotism a death blow by his celebrated Bull “Romanum decet Pontificem,” 22 June 1692.

MLA Citation

  • “nepotism”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 14 June 2014. Web. 15 June 2021. <>