Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

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

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

CASUISTRY

The theological science of applying general moral principles to particular cases of conscience. It began in the post-Apostolic age and found early expression in the penitential books, which dealt with a variety of moral failings and their appropriate forms of satisfaction. Later on came the Summas on Penance, which formed complete legal digests. St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) systematized casuistry in modern times. Although the term has taken on some unsavory meanings, due mainly to critics of Roman Catholic moral practice, casuistry is an integral part of the Church's moral tradition. Its purpose is to adapt the unchangeable norms of Christian morality to the changing and variable circumstances of human life. (Etym. Latin casus, case, problem to be solved.)

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

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Wrongheaded diocesan legal defenses in abuse cases 11 hours ago
New HHS Mandate must truly eliminate complicity July 23
Self-Esteem: Beyond Pop Psychology July 23
Government Crackdowns on God and Nature July 22
A legislative mockery: Massachusetts lawmakers rush to replace unconstitutional 'buffer zone' bill July 22

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Vatican issues working document for Synod of Bishops on the family CWN - June 26
New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8
Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21