$31,402 to go to meet our Challenge Grant, by December 1st. Your gift now will count twice!
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

EXTERNAL ACT

The physical or sensibly perceptible side of a human action. It is that which the one who performs the act and others can see or otherwise perceive by their senses. External acts, as such, are neither good nor bad, since they derive their moral value from the internal acts of the will. Nevertheless, external actions are morally good or bad by participation in what a person intends to do internally. They are the normal means for expressing, continuing, intensifying, or of repeating an internal act. Thus Catholic morality does not subscribe to the theory of Kant that morality consists solely in a good will, so that the external physical act is quite outside the scope of morals.

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

Putting Our Best Foot Forward 12 hours ago
Contentious Spirits, Beware! October 30
And here's another very old story: the secular media don't understand Catholic affairs October 29
How not to be persuasive October 29
Francis the Man, Francis the Pope October 28

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
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6