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

INSTRUMENTAL CAUSE

Anything serving as a subordinate cause. It is a cause that does not begin an action but is applied and directed as a help to its efforts and purpose by the principal agent. An instrumental cause exercises its influence chiefly according to the form and intention of the principal efficient cause. It Catholic theology the role of the priest at Mass and in the administration of the sacraments is that of instrumental cause, used by the principal agent, who is Jesus Christ.

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

Difficult Decisions in the Real World 16 hours ago
The real reason why divorced/remarried German Catholics are leaving the Church 17 hours ago
An unexpected surge in confessions? August 21
The Problem with Catholic Social Teaching August 21
In Iraq, the Pope has good reason to seek intervention, but fear unilateral US action August 20

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