Catholic Dictionary




The practical application of scientific theology to the care of souls in the sacred ministry. Its purpose is to render this ministry more effective by the use of proven methods of dealing with the spiritual needs of individuals or groups of faithful. A relatively new discipline, it came into being to cope with the increasingly complex and changing circumstances of modern life. It draws on the principles and methodology of both the secular and the sacred sciences, with special concern to help the people live out their Christian commitments in conflict with a hostile or at least indifferent non-Christian society.