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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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MORAL EVIL

Sin, as distinct from physical evil, which is some form of suffering. It is evil because it is contrary to the will of God; it is moral evil because it is caused by a free created will acting against the law of God, who does not want moral evil as an end or as a means. The Council of Trent condemned the contrary doctrine (Denzinger 816). God simply permits moral evil because of consideration of human freedom, and because he has the wisdom and power to cause good to arise from evil. In the end, moral evil will serve the supreme purpose of the universe, the glorification of God, since it reveals his mercy in forgiving and his justice in punishing.

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

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