Dirying a Welsh saint of the 6th century. Disciplina Arcani, a term of post- Reformation controversy, is applied to designate a number of modes of procedure in teaching the Christian faith, akin to one another in kind, although differing considerably in character; which prevailed from about the middle of the 2d century until the natural course of circumstances rendered any system which involved secrecy or reserve impossible. So far as these were defensible, they arose out of the principles
(1) of imparting knowledge of the truth by degrees, and in methods adapted to the capacity of the recipients; and
(2) of cutting off occasion of profaneness or of more hardened unbelief by not proclaiming the truths and mysteries of the faith indiscriminately, or in plain words, or at once, to unbelievers. The deeper Christian doctrines were withheld from those out of the Church, and the mass of those within. The secrets of the initiations into the churchly orders were likewise diligently kept from the laity. This was the foundation of that to which the word was afterwards applied. SEE ARCANI.