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IMPEDIMENT

Any obstacle to progress or activity, and in the moral order whatever hinders a person from achieving the spiritual perfection intended for him or her by God. Such would be inordinate attachments, though not sinful, to some creature that stands in the way of complete surrender to the will of God. In theology and canon law an impediment is any hindrance to the validity or legality of some action or its effects. (Etym. Latin impedimentum, an impediment, hindrance; from impedire, to entangle the feet.)

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

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