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Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

Catholic Dictionary

Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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CASE OF CONSCIENCE

A famous problem arising in 1791 as to the giving of absolution to a cleric who declared himself unwilling to give up certain Jansenist sentiments. Specifically, did Jansenius' book Augustinus contain the propositions solemnly condemned as heretical by Pope Innocent X in 1653. Forty doctors of the Sorbonne voted "yes" in favor of absolving the cleric, but this solution was condemned in the papal brief Cum Nuper as a denial of the Pope's power to decide whether or not a certain book contained errors against the faith. The faculties of theology at Louvain, Douai, and Paris were in agreement with Pope Clement XI's declaration.