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

IMPERFECTION, POSITIVE

A lack of greater perfection in a human act that is clearly adverted to and deliberately chosen. Positive imperfection occurs if one excludes an action that is better than another, from the standpoint of content and meaning, or more clearly suitable to the person who performs the act. This may be on the basis of a direct analysis of the action itself or a clear inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It implies the choice between doing and omitting something, or between acceptance of what is good and refusal of what is better. This refusal cannot be due to a reasonable motive. It can only be one of the many forms of egoism, and therefore makes such positive imperfections venially sinful. Some theologians argue that, in theory, even positive imperfections may not be morally wrong. In practice, however, the more common doctrine holds that there is at least some selfish, and to that extent sinful, motivation whenever a lesser good is deliberately chosen in preference to a greater one that could, then and there, be performed.

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

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

In Iraq, the Pope has good reason to seek intervention, but fear unilateral US action 7 hours ago
As Catholic News Unfolds... August 19
An Iraqi archbishop's warning to the West August 19
The cause for beatification of Archbishop Romero: BBC botched the story August 19
Church Fathers: The Didache and the Epistle of Barnabas August 19

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8