Definition of consistory in English:


nounplural noun consistories

  • 1(in the Roman Catholic Church) the council of cardinals, with or without the Pope.

    ‘Later this month the church's 184 cardinals will gather at the Vatican for the sixth consistory of Pope John Paul II's pontificate.’
    • ‘John Paul called nine consistories to create cardinals.’
    • ‘He was made a cardinal in October 2003 that was the last consistory Pope John Paul called.’
    • ‘A frail Pope John Paul II yesterday added 30 names to the list of his possible successors, installing a diverse collection of cardinals in a consistory some say may be his last.’
    • ‘Yet, when he steps forward to receive his red biretta at the consistory - the installation ceremony - in Rome on October 21, he will do so knowing his appointment was not universally endorsed by the 750,000 Catholics he now leads.’
    • ‘One was a special consistory, or gathering of cardinals, in May 2001 in Rome; the second was a synod, or meeting of almost 300 bishops from all over the world, in September 2001.’
    • ‘Pius VI refused to accept these changes; and meanwhile, on 29 March, in an address to a secret consistory in Rome, he condemned the Declaration of the Rights of Man and all the policies so far pursued in France on religious matters.’
    • ‘At meetings during the most recent consistory, after all, the cardinals had to wear name tags.’
    • ‘According to those who follow Vatican politics, one certain impact of the consistory John Paul held this week is that it is no longer inevitable that popes come from Europe.’
    • ‘The next Papal consistory may not take place for some time.’
    • ‘It is expected that the consistory will influence the agenda for next October's synod of bishops in Rome.’
    • ‘I was in the consistory when he gave the Mass in Central Park, and then later had a private meeting with several of us there in the cardinal's residence.’
    1. 1.1(in the Church of England) a court presided over by a bishop, for the administration of ecclesiastical law in a diocese.
      ‘Twenty-six dioceses each had a consistory court with defamation cases providing about one quarter of their business.’
      • ‘The request was turned down by a consistory court, or church court, in 2002.’
      • ‘At first glance, one might expect a study of the deposition books of the consistory court of the diocese of Canterbury and the marriage-related provisions of wills from five sample parishes to be essentially a work of consolidation.’
      • ‘In 1995 the Dean was accused in a consistory court of having had an adulterous affair with a former verger, nearly 30 years his junior.’
      • ‘A consistory court has the power to hear against any Anglican clergyman or woman a charge of ‘conduct unbecoming a clerk in holy orders’.’
      • ‘Having failed to obtain the special licence required for marriage during Lent, they were summoned to appear before the consistory court in Worcester cathedral.’
      • ‘The whole point of this consistory court is that people can put their views to the chancellor.’
      • ‘The media have not always shown such deference to the proceedings before a Consistory Court.’
      • ‘The bishop then decided that there was enough evidence of impropriety for the case to go before a consistory court.’
      • ‘The poor peasant relates his appearance before a consistory court on charges of immorality.’
    2. 1.2(in other Churches) a local administrative body.
      ‘The minority Protestant Church was fully tolerated and given its own organizational structure of elected consistories in 1802.’
      • ‘Collegialism is the name of a form of Church-government which attributes authority and power to a broader gathering over a local consistory.’
      • ‘A local consistory cannot plead independence.’
      • ‘Any complaint shall be brought first to our local Consistory.’



/kənˈsistərē/ /kənˈsɪstəri/


Middle English (originally denoting a nonecclesiastical council): from Anglo-Norman French consistorie, from late Latin consistorium, from consistere ‘stand firm’ (see consist).