Moral Theology


The science of the laws which regulate duty. It is distinguished from moral philosophy or ethics, which is concerned with the principles of right and wrong, and with their application, so far only as they can be discovered from the light of nature; whereas moral theology estimates the moral character of actions by their conformity, or want of conformity, not only to the natural standard of ethics, but also to the Christian revelation and positive law of the Church. It is different from dogmatic theology, which investigates the truths of revelation and positive law of the Church, and the conclusions which may be drawn from them; moral theology, on the other hand, looks primarily to duty and practice, not to speculative truth; it considers faith as a moral obligation, and the truths of faith as principles of conduct.

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • Father James J McGovern. “moral theology”. Catholic Pocket Dictionary, 1906. CatholicSaints.Info. 4 November 2019. Web. 3 March 2021. <>