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to remove someone from authority


to defrock sb. = jdn. seines / des Amtes entheben; jdn. aus dem Priesteramt verstoßen



"In February, the Vatican found former cardinal and archbishop of Washington Theodore McCarrick guilty of abuse, and DEFROCKED him."

New York Times

Did you


- to deprive (someone) of professional status or membership of a prestigious group

- deprive (a person in holy orders) of ecclesiastical status

Oxford & Merriam-Webster Dictionaries


Early 17th century: from French défroquer, from dé- (expressing removal) + froc ‘frock’.

Defrocking, unfrocking, or "laicization" of clergy is the removal of their rights to exercise the functions of the ordained ministry.

This may be grounded on criminal convictions, disciplinary problems, or disagreements over doctrine or dogma, but may also be done at their request for personal reasons, such as running for civil office, taking over a family business, declining health or old age, desire to marry against the rules for clergy in a particular church, or an unresolved dispute.

The form of the procedure varies according to the Christian denomination concerned. The term defrocking implies forced laicization for misconduct, while laicization is a neutral term, applicable also when clergy  have requested to be released from their ordination vows.

Nowadays, the ecclesiastical usage may be extended to any person holding official, government, or professional office.


depose, dethrone, displace, oust, uncrown, unfrock, unseat, unthrone
Practice OWAD in a conversation today, say something like:

"The Board has DEFROCKED the department head for going way over budget."

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