"Appeal as from an abuse" (French appel comme d'abus) is a legal term applied in the canon law of the Catholic Church, meaning originally a legal appeal as recourse to the civil forum (court) against the usurpation by the ecclesiastical forum of the rights of civil jurisdiction. It could mean (vice versa) a recourse to the ecclesiastical forum against the usurpation by the civil forum of the rights of ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Thus defined, the "appeal as from an abuse" had as its object was to safeguard equally the rights both of the State and of the Church. An abuse would be an act on either hand, without due authority, beyond the limits of their respective ordinary and natural jurisdictions. In practice the use of such appeals was important, historically, as a way to undermine the power of church courts.