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First published in 1921, Fr. Prümmer’s Handbook of Moral Theology was immediately regarded as an international classic. The author’s clarity of vision, precision of expression, and humble fidelity to the traditional Catholic moral framework during a period of social upheaval and increasing doctrinal deviation made his manual the standard reference text for generations of clergy, seminarians, and laity. For those seeking answers to moral questions, the Catholic advice was often “Look it up in Prümmer!”
At long last, this centenary edition restores the superb English translation of 1956 in a fresh new typesetting, making Fr. Prümmer’s original text much easier to navigate and more pleasant to read. The many citation errors that plagued earlier editions have been painstakingly corrected, and scores of additional citations have been added from Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae, Denzinger’s Enchiridion, and the Roman Catechism — three of the author’s favorite sources. The topical index has likewise been expanded and now includes technical moral terms of more recent use (such as “double effect”) to allow for more rapid contemporary reference.
After a brilliant introduction to the science of moral theology, part 1 explores the end of man and all aspects of human conduct, and part 2 examines the sacraments and sacramentals and their core importance to the Catholic moral life. These packed pages contain the traditional Catholic moral teachings on:
- Law, conscience, sin, and the passions — with their respective types, causes, and effects
- Commandments and precepts, how to observe them and recognize their violation
- Divine rights and obligations in Christian family life and civil society
- Excommunication and other penalties
- Indulgences and how to obtain them
- Virtues and vices
- Scandal and moral cooperation in evil
- Right worship, secret societies, private property, capital punishment, sexuality, abortion, war
- And much more!
In our own time of widespread confusion and decay, Fr. Prümmer’s Handbook is the definitive and complete Catholic source book of the Church’s moral doctrine as it was received and taught before the laxity and innovations of the last century. Far more than a work of mere historical interest, this surprisingly relevant guide to Christian moral perfection is a treasure that will endure as long as there are souls seeking eternal life.