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Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

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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CONFLICT OF OBLIGATIONS

A situation in which two laws apparently oblige at the same time and yet only one can be observed. Actually only the more important law obliges. Thus the natural law takes precedence over a positive law. Among natural laws, the one that prohibits precedes a law that commands. Divine positive law takes precedence over human legislation; the law of a superior must be preferred to the law of a society that is subordinate to it in purpose and function.