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
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Insights on the enigma that is Pope Francis March 27
Our Most Characteristic Vice? March 27
Recognizing the Noonday Devil March 27
Patricia Jannuzzi on gay activists: And the real problem is? March 27
Surrogate parenthood = exploitation of desperate women March 27

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope announces Jubilee: a Year of Mercy CWN - March 13