fraternal correction


An admonition which in certain circumstances we are bound to give our neighbor in order to withdraw him from sin. The duty of so admonishing is founded on the natural law of love, which obliges us to help our neighbor in the necessities of his soul, and also on the command of Christ (Matthew 18:15), “If thy brother shall offend thee, go and reprove him between thee and him alone.”

In order to be under such an obligation, we must be certain that the sin has been committed; we must have reason to think that it has not been repented of, and some reasonable hope that the correction will do good. We must also have grounds for supposing that no one else who is equally fit with ourselves to give these corrections is likely to do so. The admonition must of course be given with great prudence and charity. Bishops, parish-priests, parents and superiors are more strictly bound than others to the duty of making corrections. Many causes, such as inconvenience and loss, or even bashfulness, may often excuse private persons from administering it.

MLA Citation

  • Father James J McGovern. “fraternal correction”. Catholic Pocket Dictionary, 1906. CatholicSaints.Info. 4 November 2019. Web. 27 February 2021. <>