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Antecedent Judgment of Conscience

judgment that precedes an action

Autonomous Morality

the belief that an individual's conscience is the only moral authority; also called subjective morality


as used in the Beatitudes, it means "bliss"-a reference to the ultimate happiness of Heaven

Certain Conscience

Conscience that issues a judgment in certainty; it is correct only insofar as the conscience is rightly formed

Concomitant Judgment of Conscience

judgment of the morality of an action as it is taking place


the inner voice of a human being, on whose heart is inscribed the law of God; moral conscience is a judgment of practical reason about the moral quality of a human action that he or she is going to perform, is in the process of performing, or has already performed

Conscientious Objection

a personal appeal that to carry out a particular action that has been ordered by legitimate authority would be against one's own conscience

Consequent Judgment of Conscience

a moral judgment made after the act

Doubtful Conscience

judgment of conscience that occurs when there is doubt about the good or evil of an act done or omitted; unless one is required to act immediately; a person is required to determine the moral rectitude of an act before acting on a doubtful conscience

Erroneous Conscience

judgment of the practical intellect that decides from false principles, erroneously considered as true, that something is lawful, which in fact is unlawful

Examination of Conscience

prayerful self-reflection on one's words and deeds in light of the Gospel to determine whether one has sinned against God; this is necessary to prepare for the Sacrament of Penance

Scrupulous Conscience

a conscience that judges an action to be morally evil when in fact it is not, or a venial sin to be mortal

True Conscience

the freedom or power of deciding or judging the right course of action; this application of the practical intellect deduces from true principles (insofar as the conscience is conformed to them) that an act is lawful

Universal Call to Holiness

refers to the fact that every baptized person is called to seek holiness regardless of his or her state of life; this call was reaffirmed by the Second Vatican Council

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