Spiritual sloth. A form of spiritual laziness due to relaxed vigilance and a lack of custody of the heart. This is one of the seven capital sins.
Worship. This is the humble acknowledgement by human beings that they are creatures of the thrice-holy Creator. By obeying the First Commandment, people acknowledge and respond to the Revelation of the glory and power of God.
The total repudiation of the Christian faith. This is forbidden by the First Commandment and is against the theological virtue of faith.
Rejection of the existence of God, founded often on a false conception of human autonomy. This is forbidden by the First Commandment.
Love. The theological virtue by which a Christian loves God above all things for his own sake, and loves his neighbor as himself for the love of God.
True sorrow for and hatred of sin committed, coupled with the firm purpose to sin no more. This is necessary to make a good confession and for the priest to absolve a penitent in the Sacrament of Penance.
The loss of hope in God because of doubt in his fidelity, care for people, or power to save a sinner. This is a sin against the theological virtue of hope.
The practice of foretelling future events or discovery of what is hidden by supernatural or magical means. This is forbidden by the First Commandment.
The theological virtue by which one believes in all that God said and revealed to man and that the Church proposes for belief.
Hatred of God
The sin against charity opposed to love of God, denying his goodness and cursing him as the one who forbids sin and inflicts punishment.
The obstinate denial or obstinate doubt by a baptized person of some truth that must be believed with divine faith.
Hope is the theological virtue by which one desires the happiness of eternal life with God by placing his trust in Christ's promises and relying on the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Making no decision between conflicting parties or ideas. This leads to a refusal to reflect on the goodness and power of divine charity.
The refusal to acknowledge divine charity or return God's love.
The sin against faith that hesitates in believing or overcoming difficulties connected with the Faith and fails to attempt to dispel it.
Disrespect toward and, in many instances, mockery of God's goodness and sacred dignity. The more common sins of irreligion are tempting God, sacrilege, and simony.
Having little depth of feeling or zeal; indifference. A lukewarm person fails or hesitates to respond to divine love.
The pretended area of influencing the course of events and producing physical phenomena by processes attributed to spiritual beings.
form of prayer asking God to aid oneself or others.
The sin by which one expects salvation without personal effort or trusts solely in his efforts without God's aid.
The presence of Jesus Christ - Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity - in the Eucharist under the appearance of bread and wine.
Probably from the Latin for "to bind," the virtue that enables a Christian to render God and the worship, honor, devotion, and service he deserves. It involves a set of beliefs and practices followed by those committed to the service and worship of God.
Profaning the sacraments or other liturgical actions, or things consecrated to God in a special way, such as priests, religious women and men, churches, shrines, convents or monasteries, icons, statues, etc.
Worship of Satan, the Prince of Darkness, or any other evil demons.
A breach of the unity of the visible Church; the refusal to submit to the pope or be united with the Church in communion with him.
The buying or selling of ecclesiastical offices, sacraments, grace, benefices, or other sacred things.
An irrational religious belief or practice founded on fear or ignorance. Various forms such as good-luck charms, omens, divination, and magic are forbidden by the first commandment.
A form of prayer praising God for the good he has given.
A manifestation or appearance of God to man. This can be in the form of his glory, a medium such as a storm or fire, or in the Person of Jesus Christ on earth.
The sin against faith that disregards or refuses to hold what God has revealed as true.
Adoration paid to God or the actions, rites, or ceremonies associated with such adoration. In an archaic sense, the condition of being rightly esteemed.
A type of oath in which God is called upon as a witness to the truth of what is being said, as when a person takes an oath in court.
Words or insulting gestures against God, the Virgin Mary, the saints, or the Church.
The vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, often taken upon entrance to religious life.
A title for God and for Jesus that recognizes divine sovereignty.
The calling of God as a witness to the truth of what is being said.
To make a promise without any intention of completing it, or to lie under oath.
A type of oath in which God is called upon as a witness to something that will be done in the future, as when a public official solemnly swears to fulfill the duties of his office.
Empty, worthless, hollow; having no genuine substance, value, or importance.
A promise made freely and deliberately to God concerning something that is better than its opposite.
The Shorthand initialism (Tetragrammaton) used by the Israelites for the names of God, "I am who I am," which out of great respect for God could not be uttered.
An early Christian work (ca. AD 60) of unknown authorship, it summarizes morality as a choice between the path of life and the path of death, and includes liturgical practice and disciplinary norms.
A portion of the People of God that is entrusted to a bishop to be nurtured by him, with the cooperation of his persists, in such a way that, remaining close to its pastor and gathered by him through the Gospel and the Eucharist in the Holy Spirit, it constitutes a particular Church. In this Church, the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church of Christ truly exists and functions.
Temporary freedom from occupations in order to enjoy and enrich oneself and celebrate the good things God has created, such as family, culture, society, and religion.
Mass or Liturgy of the Eucharist
Also called the Eucharist or Lord's Supper. This name is derived from the Latin dismissal of the faithful, "Ite, missa est." The principal sacramental celebration of the Church, established by Jesus at the Last Supper, in which the mystery of salvation through participation in the sacrificial Death and glorious Resurrection of Christ is renewed and accomplished.
A definite community of Christ's faithful established within a diocese; it is under the authority of the diocesan bishop and entrusted to a parish priest as its pastor.
or seventh day - on which God rested after the work of the six days of creation was completed. In honor of Christ's Resurrection, Sunday, or the Lord's Day, must include rest from labor and the worship of God as required by the Third Commandment.
To actively exert oneself (mentally or physically) by operating upon a part of creation in order to do or make something more useful than the materials used.
The power to enforce obedience to dictated laws in the realm of public actions within a defined territory; those persons who exercise this power.
Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives who are not in the immediate family.
The domestic Church; a man and woman united in marriage, together with their children: a community of faith, hope, and charity. Each member, in accord with his own role, exercises the Baptismal priesthood and contributes toward making a community of grace and prayer, a school of human and Christian virtue, and the place where the Faith is first proclaimed to children.
A command or order, usually from a superior. Jesus' mandate on Holy Thursday followed the washing of the Apostles' feet: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you."
The science and art dealing with the form, organization, administration, and government of people within a state or between states.
Principle of Subsidiarity
The principle that guides the relations in society. It states that the lower authority must not be interfered with by the higher authority without necessity. When the higher authority does intervene, it should be for the legitimate common god. Therefore, the Church opposes all forms of collectivism or nationalism.
A defined geographic region comprised of people who are under the same governmental structure.
The condition of living in harmonious association and company with others for mutual benefit, defense, and other needs.
The destruction of a child after conception but before birth. Direct abortion or cooperation in it is forbidden by the Fifth Commandment. Attached to this sin is the penalty of excommunication because, from the moment of conception, every human being must be absolutely respected and protected in his integrity.
Any action or omission of action that assist another person in bringing about his own death. Responsibility may be aggravated by the scandal given because every human being must be absolutely respected and protected in his integrity. It is forbidden by the Fifth Commandment.
The belief that one is entirely independent and is responsible only to himself for his actions and the direction of his life. A false conception of this can lead to atheism.
Derived from the Greek words bios (life) and ethos (ethics), the disciple dealing with ethical questions related to human life that arise as a result of advances in medicine and biology.
An act by the legitimate authority of a state or nation to put a criminal to death.
The process of developing a person or animal from one somatic cell of its parent, thus it is genetically identical to that parent. Because God created man in his image and likeness, human cloning can never be moral.
Culture of Death
Term introduced by Pope John Paul II to indicate a society or culture that tolerates or favors acts and ideas that are an affront to the dignity of human life.
Dignity of Human Life
The quality of being worthy or honorable; worthiness, nobleness, excellence. Every human person, by reason of his or her creation in the image and likeness of God, has an intrinsic dignity.
From the Greek meaning "good death," an action or omission of an action that, by itself or by intention, causes a person's death in order to eliminate suffering.
Censured by a bishop in response to a grave, habitual, public sin. An excommunicated person is forbidden to have a ministerial role in the celebration of the sacraments and other public ceremonies, to receive the sacraments, or to exercise church offices or ministries.
Life-sustaining forms of medical care that are (a) radically painful, (b) excessively expensive, (c) doubtfully able to accomplish their designated objective, or (d) radically burdensome.
The principle that war may be legitimately waged, under certain specific conditions, for the protection of a nation's rights.
The sinful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. This is listed among the sins that cry to Heaven and is forbidden by the Fifth Commandment.
The action of disfiguring a part of the body, sometimes rendering it useless or wounded.
Term commonly used to identify individuals and organizations that favor the availability of legalized abortion - so called because it claims to support a woman's "choice" of whether to give birth to a child or to kill the child in the womb.
Term commonly used to identify individuals and organizations that oppose abortion and other affronts to human dignity.
Holy, worthy of great respect or veneration.
An attitude or behavior that leads another to do evil.
The destruction of fertility and fruitfulness; rendering incapable of producing offspring, especially by surgical or chemical procedures on the reproductive organs. This s forbidden by the Sixth Commandment.
The act of taking one's own life; self-murder. This is forbidden by the Fifth Commandment.
Chemical substances or mechanical devices that inhibit a fertilized egg's ability to attach itself to the lining of the uterus, thereby destroying the human zygote.
Sexual relations between an married person and one to whom he or she is not married. Adultery is opposed to the Sacrament of Matrimony because it contradicts the unity and exclusivity of married love.
The moral virtue that, under the cardinal virtue of temperance, is directed toward the positive integration of sexuality within a person by moderating the sexual appetite. This virtue leads to correct understanding of human sexuality when integrated into every relationship. Chastity is a gift of God, a grace, and a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Refers to the compatible and mutually beneficial relationship between man and woman according to the original plan of God.
The union of sperm and egg that creates a new life.
Self-restraint of the sexual appetite either by abstinence or moderation. By extension, self-restraint of other appetites.
Any of a number of barrier or chemical measures used to prevent pregnancy which would result from sexual intercourse.
A civil dissolution of marriage. A civil divorce does not dissolve a valid marriage before God; thus, an attempted remarriage would be adultery. In addition, divorce introduces disorder into the family and into society. It brings grave harm to the spouses and the children.
The name given to an unborn child in the first several weeks of life.
The use of sexually arousing imagery in literature or art. A tendency to become sexually aroused, usually by some stimulus.
An unborn child.
Pre-marital intercourse and other sexual acts.
The theory of ethics in which pleasure is regarded as the chief good and end of every action.
Pope Paul VI's 1968 encyclical that reaffirmed and beautifully explained the Catholic Church's condemnation of contraception.
In Vitro Fertilization
Morally objectionable fertility technique of fertilizing a woman's egg with a man's sperm in the laboratory and then implanting the fertilized egg into a woman's uterus.
In Vivo Fertilization
Morally objectionable fertility technique, also known as "artificial insemination," which involves artificially injecting a man's sperm into a woman's uterus in hopes of conception.
The quality of an entity such that it cannot be divided into its elements. This quality of a sacramental and consummated marriage means the union of marriage cannot be broken except by the death of a spouse.
Sensuous appetite or desire; usually sexual in nature. This lawless and passionate desire of or for some object leads to sin. This is one of the seven capital sins.
The genital sexual act proper to marriage, an embodiment of the permanent union of the husband and wife.
The deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure.
The Sacrament by which a man and a woman, in accordance with God's design from the beginning, are joined in an intimate union of life and love, "so they are no longer two but one" (Mt 19: 6). This union is ordered to the mutual benefit of the spouses and the procreation and education of children.
Moderation, freedom from exaggeration, and self-control. This most often refers to propriety of behavior, chastity in thought and speech, and avoidance of clothing that is revealing or otherwise excites the senses or may lead others to sin.
Natural Family Planning
Any of several Church-approved methods by which a couple may regulate conception by studying the signs of the woman's cycle of fertility.
Attempted marriage between more than two people (one mane and one woman) at the same time. Polygamy refers to a man attempting marriage with more than one wife; polyandry refers to a woman attempting marriage with more than one husband. This is a sin against the unity of marriage and forbidden by the Sixth Commandment.
An offense against the virtue of chastity and the Sacrament of Matrimony; the expression or suggestion of obscene or unchaste subjects in literature or art. This consists in a removal of sexual acts from the intimacy of a married couple in order to display them to third parties.
One of the purposes of marriage and the marital act; indicates an openness to producing children.
A perspective that considers all sexual passions and attractions to be sinful and attributes them to Original Sin.
The possession of sexual powers and capability of sexual feeling; this includes every aspect of the whole person: physical, psychological, intellectual, emotional, and moral.
Theology of the Body
A body of teaching by Pope John Paul II on the dignity of the human person and the complementarity of men and women.
One of the purposes of marriage and the marital act, it refers to the loving sacramental bond and mirrors the unity of Christ and his Church. The quality or condition of being one in number. This can be said of many things, including God, of Christ and his Church, and a man and woman in matrimony.
A newly fertilized egg before its implantation in the uterus.