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Advocatus Diaboli

“Advocatus Diaboli” is a Latin phrase that means “Devil’s Advocate” in English. This term refers to a person who takes an opposing position in a discussion, debate, or argument to challenge or test the strength of the arguments presented by the other side. The goal of the devil’s advocate is to ensure that all aspects of an issue are thoroughly examined and that the arguments put forth can withstand scrutiny.

Having a devil’s advocate can be valuable in various contexts, such as legal proceedings, academic debates, or decision-making processes, as it prevents groupthink, identifies weaknesses in arguments, and fosters a more critical and well-rounded discussion.

The term is also used in the context of the Catholic Church. The Devil’s Advocate was an official position within the canonization process, responsible for presenting arguments against the canonization of a proposed saint. However, Pope John Paul II abolished this position in 1983 as part of the changes to the canonization process.

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