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

RETRIBUTION

A penalty or reward that a person deserves for moral conduct. Its basis is the divine justice that repays each person according to his or her workds. Retribution more generally refers to punishment for sin, but theologically it also means the merit that a person gains for free co-operation with divine grace. More often retribution is understood to belong to etermity, yet already in this life divine justice is acting, even when the punishment is tempered by God's mercy. (Etym. Latin retributio, recompense, restitution; from retribuere, to give back, restore.)

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

Renewal with God Behind Us: Man Determines All 13 hours ago
Introducing the Church Fathers July 27
Straws in the Wind July 25
Hans Urs von Balthasar on Renewal that Matters July 25
Wrongheaded diocesan legal defenses in abuse cases July 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
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