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Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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CASE OF CONSCIENCE

A famous problem arising in 1791 as to the giving of absolution to a cleric who declared himself unwilling to give up certain Jansenist sentiments. Specifically, did Jansenius' book Augustinus contain the propositions solemnly condemned as heretical by Pope Innocent X in 1653. Forty doctors of the Sorbonne voted "yes" in favor of absolving the cleric, but this solution was condemned in the papal brief Cum Nuper as a denial of the Pope's power to decide whether or not a certain book contained errors against the faith. The faculties of theology at Louvain, Douai, and Paris were in agreement with Pope Clement XI's declaration.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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