Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $36,969 to go. Please donate!
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

EUGENICS

The science of hereditary and environmental influences in order to improve the physical and mental qualities of future generations. As a term, it was first used by Francis Galton (1822-1911), cousin of Charles Darwin (1809-82). There are, in general, two types of eugenics. An extreme form advocates the compulsory breeding of the select, contraception among the poor, and sterilization and euthanasia for the unfit. Moderate eugenics promotes the study of how to reduce the number of mentally and physically handicapped without resorting to coercive measures. The Catholic Church strongly supports the idea that people have a right to use suitable, licit means to improve their own physical and mental condition and that of their children. but the Church condemns eugenicists who, in their narrow outlook, exalt eugenics as the supreme good and who, therefore, use illicit means to promote their goal. Eugenics has contributed substantially to the practice of contraception, sterilization, abortion, and euthanasia. (Etym. Greek eugen_s, well born.)

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

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Is Cardinal Kasper losing his grip? 1 hours ago
The Pope is not the problem 22 hours ago
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. 24 hours ago
Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal October 22
Has the Vatican finally discovered how to avoid inaccurate English translations? October 22

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6