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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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COMMUTATIVE JUSTICE

The virtue that regulates those actions which involve the rights between one individual and another individual. If a person steals another's money, he or she violates commutative justice. Any violation of commutative justice imposes on the guilty party the duty of restitution, that is, the duty of repairing the harm caused. In fact, strictly speaking, only violations of commutative justice give rise to this duty of restitution.

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

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