A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.
In itself. Term used in philosophy to identify substance, whose existence is "in itself" as distinct from an accident that exists in another (in alio). In theology the phrase applies to every object or situation considered in its own right and apart from its relations to other things. Thus in se telling the untruth is a venial sin, but circumstances (as under oath) may make it grave.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.