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ECCLESIASTIC. A clergyman; one destined to the divine ministry, as, a bishop, a priest, a deacon. Dom. Lois Civ. liv. prel. t. 2, s. 2, n. 14.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
Military officers destitute of military knowledge; naval officers with no idea of a ship; civil officers without a notion of affairs; brazen ecclesiastics, of the worst world worldly, with sensual eyes, loose tongues, and looser lives; all totally unfit for their several callings, all lying horribly in pretending to belong to them, but all nearly or remotely of the order of Monseigneur, and therefore foisted on all public employments from which anything was to be got; these were to be told off by the score and the score.
She has just concluded that I am the most distinguished of ecclesiastics, and that you are the most superficial of metaphysicians.
Nothing could be more grossly absurd than the reproaches which the Abyssinian ecclesiastics aspersed us and our religion with.
Now, I have confessed to these learned ecclesiastics, and that in all humility, that the duties of mounting guard and the service of the king have caused me to neglect study a little.
One would almost imagine from the long list that is given of cannibal primates, bishops, arch-deacons, prebendaries, and other inferior ecclesiastics, that the sacerdotal order far outnumbered the rest of the population, and that the poor natives were more severely priest-ridden than even the inhabitants of the papal states.
Philosophical and theological critics vigorously opposed his views, and civil and ecclesiastic authorities condemned his writings.
"A true man who, in any ecclesiastic adversity he was faced with, always knew what he wanted and how to seek it," he said.
The two ecclesiastic leaders cited as factors for humanity's alienation from the original purpose of creation the propensity to interrupt the world's "delicate and balanced" ecosystems and an "insatiable desire" to manipulate and control the planets limited resources, as well as the "greed for limitless profit" in markets.
The ecclesiastic front door feels like a piece of history in your hands but looks like the entrance to a fantasy world worth of J R R Tolkien and hobbits.
This letter, addressed to the ecclesiastic authorities and major superiors of Catholic Church in India, solicits you to take every measure to protect vulnerable individuals from the dehumanizing tendencies of abusive ecclesiastic personnel before the situation gets worsened and out of control.
At the death of a distinguished ecclesiastic, the rotulus was carried on circuit from his home monastery to other houses likely to be sympathetic, each one contributing a note or comment of its own (a titulus) to the growing collection.
With closer connections to broader ecclesiastical hierarchies in Norway and elsewhere, she says, the church witnessed major developments in bureaucracy and organization as well as the growth of a powerful and wealthy ecclesiastic elite.