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

SANCTION

In general, the inviolability of the law, whether divine or human, ecclesiastical or civil. More properly, it is the means adopted to make the law inviolable. These may be natural means and comprehend all the beneifts and penalties, personal or social, the naturally follow from keeping or breaking the law. Or they may be supernatural means, which are known to exist only because they have been divinely revealed. Positive sanctions are those set up by legitimate authority in Church or State and, to be valid, must conform to right reason and revelation. Every sanction is only as effective as it is known, whether it acts as a stimulus (in promised rewards) or as a deterrent (in threatened punishments) to motivate people to observed the law. Sanctions are either temporal or eternal, depending on their duration. They are either medicinal or vindicative, depending on their purpose: to act as a remedy for violations of the law or to restore moral order and champion justice against violators of the law. (Etym. Latin sanctio, the decreeing of something as sacred, decree, sanction.)

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

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Another Month Closer to God July 31
Links to the past July 30
Fetal tissues and vaccinations; are you part of the problem? July 30
The mystery of conversion, always deeply rooted in Divine mercy July 30
Vatican delegations ought to avoid the rhetoric of the world. July 30

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days