Originally Posted by THP
Even if you saw nothing, that is still considered a sin????
He made the decision to pursue the sin but didn't follow through on that action
First let me say Firmly
that I am not passing any judgements here. In these matters it is always
best to seek the advice and counsel of a good confessor. Hypothetical situations on the internet are just that - hypothetical....
OK - Moving on...
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Mt 5:27-28)
Now - has the man seen the woman naked" - No.
Has he looked at something "pornographic"? - No.
Has he "follow(ed) through on that action"? - No.
What has he done? - He made a conscious decision
to "look lustfully" at her.
Conscious decision - That is the key.
When someone asks about intrusive thoughts we tell them these are not sinful until you consciously recognize them and decide whether to keep or reject the sinful thought.
In the matter of the person at the computer who types the word "porn" into a search engine is that typing is not an involuntary or "non-thinking" act. It requires a decisive thought. A decision to type the word With the intent
to view porn.
At that point
, and assuming they know it is wrong, he (or she) has basically completed the three requirements for Mortal sin...(Grave matter, sufficient knowledge and free consent). Add to that the fact that they have taken concrete action by typing the word...or "walked into the brothel"...
I see nothing here that says it is anything else but sin....
Now - That said, there can be a number of mitigating factors in this. Things that a good confessor and/or spiritual councilor would need to factor in when working with the penitent. For instance...
We know that porn can be an addiction (been there). A person who has an addiction has a decreased culpability...or...
The fact that the person caught themselves quickly and immediately repented...or....
(fill in the blank)...
These factors can lead a counselor to say that the sin was venial and not mortal...but it hardly leads to saying that it was not a sin at all. What is necessary is that the sin be properly understood. That the person not become despondent or give into despair. Rather we need to recognize the sin, confront the sin without trying to hide from is or dismiss it as "not a sin" - repent, take steps to guard against sinning in the future, confess it and obtain even more grace, and move on with courage.