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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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RAPE

In ecclesiastical law the crime of forcing a woman, against her will, to have sexual intercourse. Besides the mortal sin against chastity, it is a grave sin against justice to ravish a woman. Rape can be committed by the use of phusical or moral force, including fraud and deceit; likewise, in a sin committed with a woman who has not the use of reason, whether mentally deranged or under the influence of drink or drugs. A woman being ravished must offer internal resistance absolutely, in not consenting with the will; and such external resistance as is possible without endangering her life or reputation. (Etym. Latin rapere, to seize.)

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

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