Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $36,642 to go. Please donate!
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

INSANITY

Abnormality of the brain or nervous system producing a morbid mental condition. This condition is accompanied by loss of control of the will, rendering the individual morally irresponsible for what he does. The permanently insane may be baptized, their desire being supposed. If having lapsed into insanity and now incurable, they may be baptized if any, even implicit, desire for baptism was ever expressed by them. The sacrament of anointing of the sick may also be given, and Holy Communion may be received in sane moments or when in danger of death. A temporarily insane person upon recovery may validly receive the sacrament of confirmation and holy orders. The permanently insane may not be sponsors for baptism, nor may they marry, but, if they have contracted marriage in a period of lucidity, that marriage may be valid. The Church approves segregation for the insane and sponsors institutions for their care, but sterilization is forbidden as an infringement of their human rights.

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

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Could respect for the papacy mean resisting the Pope? 7 hours ago
The Church Moves On, Slowly October 24
Is Cardinal Kasper losing his grip? October 24
The Pope is not the problem October 23
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. October 23

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6