Definition of Gallican in English:



  • 1Relating to the ancient Church of Gaul or France.

    • ‘Like others of his generation Taylor had been reared in an ecclesiastical setting in Ireland which featured strong Gallican tendencies.’
    • ‘This alone was enough to ensure that the Catholic Church restored under the concordat bore little resemblance to the former Gallican church.’
    • ‘When Romanus withdraws into the rugged mountains and takes up life under a pine tree next to a spring, for instance, we see the adaptation of Eastern eremitical forms to the Gallican geographical context.’
    • ‘Likewise, the procession of the deacons from the back of the church during the Gallican offertory was interpreted either as the angels bringing Christ to the incarnation or as the women coming to the empty tomb on Easter morning.’
    • ‘Our blessings of candles, ashes, palms, much of the ritual of Holy Week, sequences, and so on are Gallican additions.’
    • ‘Some of these Gallican features were eventually to find their way to Rome and to be incorporated into the Roman Mass itself.’
    • ‘There are no enough sources to distinguish exactly if a chant text is Gallican and even less usual is the agreement whether a music accompanying it could be also of Gallican origin.’
    • ‘Most significantly, the bull offended those in the church and especially the parlements who were loyal to the Gallican tradition.’
    • ‘This highlights the relevance of much deeper divisions within the Gallican establishment that took precedence, Nelson argues, over the wider issue of the Jesuits' presence in France.’
    • ‘His contact with Gallican divines at the Sorbonne gave him a continuing interest in the French church.’
    • ‘When we speak of the Gallican Rite we mean a type of liturgy rather than a stereotyped service.’
    • ‘Roman and Gallican chants as well as later Frankish chants are included to illustrate these points.’
    • ‘Meantime an attempt was made by the Assembly to formulate definitely the Gallican liberties.’
  • 2Of or holding a doctrine (reaching its peak in the 17th century) which asserted the freedom of the Roman Catholic Church in France and elsewhere from the ecclesiastical authority of the papacy.

    Compare with ultramontane
    • ‘The Jansenists, led by Pucelle, played on the Gallican and legal sensibilities of their colleagues to such good effect that the government was obliged to hold a bed of justice.’
    • ‘The Gallican liturgy also promulgated the idea of the soul traveling after death through a realm of darkness and demons toward a place of light, a concept encapsulated in the Panteon.’
    • ‘Benedict was aware that the Roman book was ‘missing’ a number of elements commonly used in the rich and diverse congeries of local uses which comprised the Gallican liturgy.’
    • ‘They found their way into various early liturgies, especially the Gallican and Mozarabic.’
    • ‘In 1512 Pope Julius II convoked the Fifth Lateran Council to counter the efforts by a group of schismatic French cardinals to increase their power and influence in Italy by holding a largely Gallican council at Pisa in 1511.’
    • ‘The liturgy observed was that of the Gallican rite until Pepin and Charlemagne imposed the Roman rite.’
    • ‘Would the restored church be Gallican, with all the liberties and traditions accumulated since the sixteenth century, and a rich institutional outgrowth of agencies, assemblies, chapters, monasteries, and hospitals?’
    • ‘There are two places in Western Europe where the old Gallican liturgies are still used.’
    • ‘Secondly, we have no account of any prayer or prayers ‘of the faithful,’ in the Gallican liturgy.’


  • An adherent of the Gallican doctrine.

    • ‘As the Roman rite spread to areas where the Gallican rites had been known, much of the drama and poetry of the Gallicans ‘leaked’ into the stark Roman rite.’
    • ‘The Gallicans, on the other hand, favored a strongly French church with only ceremonial ties to Rome.’
    • ‘Their forefathers are a gathering of heretics or bad Catholics, Gallicans, ‘liberal’ Catholics, against whom the saints and popes have fought.’
    • ‘Questioning the notion that Church authority was based on revealed religious truth, erudite Gallicans rather saw this authority as embedded in the same process of historical development as defined the French monarchy.’
    • ‘In modern times, a number of Gallicans have converted to Eastern Orthodoxy, and when an autocephalous French Orthodox Church finally emerges, it will no doubt count some of the Gallicans among its forerunners.’
    • ‘A second and related set of tensions divided Gallicans, who insisted on the independence of the national Church, and ultramontanes, who were more respectful of papal authority.’
    • ‘However, this was another mistake since the Gallicans saw Papal intrusion as an infringement of their rights.’
    • ‘Hilary and other Gallicans have been strengthened by the example of Irenaeus, and by his faithful words of reproof and exhortation, to resist Rome, even down to our own times.’
    • ‘The limits of the Magisterium of the Church were gradually worked out at the Councils of Trent and Vatican I, and in the controversies with the Gallicans, Episcopalians and Conciliarists.’
    • ‘For the greater glory of the French monarchy, Gallicans and Jesuits are forced to strike a balance between philology and elegance, citation and creative imitation, critical judgment and natural talent, invention and elocution.’
    • ‘Regalists and Jansenists, Gallicans, and infidels found one common hate - the Jesuits.’
    • ‘Lamennais attacked Frayssinous, which was a way to attack the Gallicans without naming them.’
    • ‘The Gallicans in France and the Protestants abroad pointed to this decision of the king as a desertion of his principles.’
    • ‘Given the language used by the Gallicans cited above, 15 of the Fathers of the Council were clearly trying to defeat Gallicanism.’


Late Middle English: from Old French gallican, or from Latin Gallicanus, from Gallicus (see Gallic).