A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.
THe infliction of punishment on someone who has done moral wrong. In this sense, only God has the right to avenge wrongdoing. He may delegate this right to those in legitimate authority, as St. Paul declares, speaking of civil rulers, that "the authorities are there to serve God; they carry out God's revenge by punishing wrongdoers" (Romans 13:4). (Etym. Latin vindicare, to revenge, vindicate.)
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.