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.
A term used to describe those sins against chastity in which the natural purpose of the sexual act is or can be attained, but they are performed outside the legitimate bonds of matrimony. Implicit in such acts is the malice of committing a sin against some other virtue besides chastity. Thus adultery, rape, and abduction are crimes against justice' formication sins against the justice due to the offspring, the community, and the unmarried partner; incest is opposed to familial piety; and sacrilege offends against the virtue of religion for a person vowed to celibacy.