Catechism of the Catholic Church

GLOSSARY Prefatory note to the Glossary Even before the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a Glossary hadbeenproposed to provide assistance to thosewhowoulduse the new Catechism. This Glossary has been prepared by Archbishop William J. Levada, who served as a member of the Editorial Committee of the Special Commission of theHoly See for the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It has been reviewedby theNCCB ad hoc Committee toOversee theUse of theCatechism, as well as by the chairman and staff of the NCCB Committee on Doctrine. This Glossary has been composed with reference to the language of the Catechism itself: the numbers in parentheses refer to the number(s) in the Cate- chism where the term or concept is explained. The criterion for the selection of words included in this Glossary is twofold: (1) unfamiliar or technical terms are defined, in order to assist readers who are not acquainted with them through formal religious or theological studies; and (2) multiple meanings or uses of familiar terms are presented, thus alerting readers to the various uses of the term in Church doctrine. Common words and most proper names are not listed in this Glossary, nor are religious terms which are not directly or indirectly present in the Catechism. It is important to remember that this Glossary, like the Catechism ’s Index- es, is an additional instrument by which readers may find assistance in their use of the Catechism itself. While the Glossary is faithful to the language of the Catechism, it does not participate in the approval of the text of the Catechism given in the Apostolic Constitution Fidei depositum of Pope John Paul II. -A- ABORTION: Deliberate termination of pregnancy by killing the unborn child. Such direct abortion, willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life (2271-2272). ABRAHAM: The man of faith and patriarch of Israel with whom God made a covenant which promised him land in which to live and many descendants, a great people for whom the Lord would be their God. Through Abraham God formed the people to whom he would later give the law by revelation to Moses. With the advent of Christ, the people of Israel would serve as the root to which the Gentiles would be grafted by their coming to believe (59, 72, 145, 705, 762, 2570). ABSOLUTION: An essential element of the Sacrament of Penance in which the priest, by the power entrusted to the Church by Christ, pardons the sin(s) of the penitent (1424, 1442, 1449, 1453, 1480).