• Latin: secernere, to set apart


Occult knowledge which must not be revealed. It may be a natural, promised, or official secret. One who sees a respectable person accidentally commit a misdemeanor, by the nature of the fact, cannot reveal it. Promised secrecy is what the word implies. An official secret binds the professional person because of an implicit pact between him and his client. In the tribunal of Penance, the confessor is obliged by the so-called Sigillum Sacramentale, not to divulge anything directly or indirectly under any circumstance. History cites Saint John Nepomucene as a martyr to the sacramental secret.

MLA Citation

  • “secret”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 12 June 2010. Web. 29 November 2021. <>