The principle “Do wrong to no man” implies that if we have done another any injury we are bound to make good the loss. Thus, if we have converted another’s property to our own use, we must give it back to him; if we have destroyed anything that is his, even without benefiting by the action, we must hand over to him an equivalent at our own cost. We are also bound to indemnify him for any inconvenience that he may have suffered by being deprived of his property. Restitution applies, as far as the case admits; to any injury to another’s life or limb, wife, goods, or good name, and is binding under pain of mortal sin where the matter is serious. Absolution may be given before restitution is actually made, provided that the penitent has the intention of restoring as soon as possible. If the intention is not carried out, the penitent grievously sins. It should be noted that they who co-operate in causing injury are bound to make restitution.

MLA Citation

  • Father James J McGovern. “restitution”. Catholic Pocket Dictionary, 1906. CatholicSaints.Info. 5 November 2019. Web. 25 February 2021. <>