We have a dangerous shortfall this month—$10,736 short—a serious deficit. Your support needed NOW!
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

PER SE

Literally "by itself" or "through itself." A very common expression in scholastic philosophy and theology to describe something by reason of what it is in itself or its own nature without reference to its relationship to other things or the circumstances associated with an object or activity. Thus every human act, "per se," is a moral act because it proceeds from the free will, but it may be either morally good or morally bad. The opposite is "per accidens."

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
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

On the failure of history—and historians—without Christ 16 hours ago
Salvation? No matter who we are, one price. January 28
Rich Spiritual Instruction January 27
Snowbound thoughts on natural law January 27
The best argument against the 'celibate gay Catholics' January 26

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis names 20 new cardinals CWN - January 5
In ‘state of the world’ address, Pope decries ‘throwaway culture’ CWN - January 12