(Latin: scrupulus, diminutive of scrupus, a sharp stone)

To scruple, or to have a scruple, is to doubt about and to hestitate doing something on false grounds of conscience. Scruples cause a state of anxiety in those afflicted with them. They arise from excessive servile fear in some persons because they represent God as an exacting tyrant. In others, they are mere temptations of the enemy of human nature, but frequently fortified by stubbornness and obstinacy in the individual. Scruples are enemies to spiritual progress because they lead to discouragement and despondency in the practice of religion.

New Catholic Dictionary

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