"small stall in a Catholic church in which a priest sits to hear confession," 1727, from French confessional, from Medieval Latin confessionale, noun use of neuter of confessionalis (adj.), from past-participle stem of confiteri "to acknowledge" (see confess).
early 14c., from Anglo-French vicare, Old French vicaire "deputy, second in command," also in the ecclesiastical sense (12c.), from Latin vicarius "a substitute, deputy, proxy," noun use of adjective vicarius "substituted, delegated," from vicis "change, interchange, succession; a place, position" (from PIE root *weik- (2) "to bend, to wind"). The original notion is of "earthly representative of God or Christ;" but also used in sense of "person acting as parish priest in place of a real parson" (early 14c.).
The original Vicar of Bray (in figurative use from 1660s) seems to have been Simon Allen, who held the benefice from c. 1540 to 1588, thus serving from the time of Henry VIII to Elizabeth I, being twice a Catholic and twice a Protestant but always vicar of Bray. The village is near Maidenhead in Berkshire.
"doctrines, customs, ceremonies, etc. of the Pope or the Roman Catholic Church," 1530s, a hostile coinage of the Reformation, from pope + -ery. Earlier, non-hostile words along the same sense lines were popedom (Old English) "the office or dignity of a Pope;" popehood (Old English papan-had) "condition of being Pope."
"of or pertaining to Rheims" (earlier English Rhemes), city in northeastern France (see Reims), 1580s; specifically in reference to an English translation of the New Testament by Roman Catholics at the English seminary college at Douai (College des Grands Anglais), a center for English Catholic refugees, published 1582.
1610s, "state of celibacy" (especially as mandated to clergy in the Catholic church) from French célibat (16c.), from Latin caelibatus "state of being unmarried" (see celibacy). This was the only sense until early 19c.; the meaning "one who is sworn to celibacy" is from 1838. Other nouns in this sense were celibatarian, celibatist, celibian.