A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.
Ignorance of the law. In civil jurisprudence, ignorance of the law does not excuse a person from its observance. But in ecclesiastical law, with some exceptions, sincere ignorance may not oblige in conscience. But where the validity of an act or sacrament is involved, even sincere ignorance of prescribed essentials does not prevent the action or the sacrament from being invalid.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.