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

Recent Catholic Commentary

Government Crackdowns on God and Nature 3 hours ago
A legislative mockery: Massachusetts lawmakers rush to replace unconstitutional 'buffer zone' bill 4 hours ago
Gay and Transgendered: What Comes Next? 5 hours ago
Obama's executive order and the danger of reliance on federal contracts 5 hours ago
May God Bless our Readers! July 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Vatican issues working document for Synod of Bishops on the family CWN - June 26
New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8
Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21