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

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FORMAL CAUSE

The specific element in a being which communicates itself to the indeterminate or less determinate element and together with this matter or substratum constitutes the whole being. One of the four principal causes in Thomistic philosophy.

See Also: CAUSE, See Also: EFFICIENT CAUSE, See Also: FINAL CAUSE, See Also: FIRST CAUSE, See Also: FREE CAUSE, See Also: MATERIAL CAUSE, See Also: MORAL CAUSE, See Also: NECESSARY CAUSE, See Also: SECONDARY CAUSE

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

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