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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A theory in moral theology for resolving practical doubts. Also called the principle of sufficient reason. It holds that when a person doubts the lawfulness of an act he or she must have sufficiently grave reason to decide in favor of the opinion that is contrary to the law. The graver the law the more probable the reasons favoring it, the greater also must be the reasons for exposing oneself to the risk of breaking the law. (Etym. Latin compensatio, a balancing, exchange.)