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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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INFIDELITY

Either a lack of faith or of faithfulness. As a lack of faith, it may be positive, privative, or negative. Positive infidelity means that a baptized person sufficiently instructed in the Christian faith rejects it by a denial of any of God's revealed truths. Privative infidelity is the culpable neglect either to examine the grounds for divine revelation or to admit one's obligation to embrace the faith once these grounds are seen to be credible. Negative infidelity is simply a lack of faith in the Christian religion by one who has some other faith and, through no fault of his or her own, has not had the Gospel adequately presented. Infidelity as a lack of faithfulness is commonly associated with marriage.

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

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