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Catholic Dictionary




The moral responsibility for one's human actions. A person is accountable to God only for his or her deliberate actions. They are acts performed with knowledge of what one is doing and with the consent of the will. In order to gauge the accountability of a particular action, one must consider the degree of deliberateness involved. If a person's knowledge of the nature of the act or his or her consent is diminished, the imputability will be lessened. Catholic moral theology recognizes six chief hindrances to full imputability: ignorance, fear, passion, habits, violence, and mental disorder. (Etym. Latin in-, in + putare, to consider: imputare, to bring a fault into the reckoning; to ascribe.)