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  #16  
Old Jul 4, '12, 5:58 pm
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Vico Vico is offline
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Default Re: Conditions for mortal sin

Blessed Pope John Paul II wrote of mortal and grave:
Every human sin repeats the essential elements, which from the very beginning constitute the moral evil of sin in the light of the revealed truth on God and man. They are presented in a degree of intensity different from that of the first sin, committed in the state of original justice. Committed after original sin, personal sins are conditioned by the state of inherited inclination to evil ("the spark or incitement of evil desire"), in a certain sense already at the very point of departure. However, this situation of inherited weakness does not cancel human freedom. Every actual (personal) sin is a real abuse of freedom, contrary to the will of God. The degree of this abuse may vary. The different degrees of guilt of the sinner also depend on this. In this sense one must apply a different measure for actual sins, when it is a question of evaluating the degree of evil contained in them. From this, too, derives the difference between "grave" sin and "venial" sin. Grave sin is also "mortal" because it brings about the loss of sanctifying grace in the one who commits it.
...
This disbelief, this lack of trust in God who is revealed as Creator, Father and Savior, indicate that man, by sinning, not only transgresses the commandment (the law), but really "lifts himself up against" God himself, "seeking to attain his goal apart from God" (GS 13). In this way we can find at the root of every actual sin the echo, distant perhaps, but nonetheless real, of those words which were at the basis of the first sin. The words of the tempter presented disobedience to God as a way of being like God; of knowing, like God, "good and evil."
However, as we have already said, even in actual sin, when it is a case of grave (mortal) sin, man chooses himself in opposition to God. He chooses the creature in place of the Creator, and he rejects the Father's love as did the prodigal son in the first phase of his foolish adventure. To a certain extent every human sin is an expression of that "mystery of iniquity" (2 Thess 2:7) which St. Augustine summarized in the words: amor sui usque ad contemptum Deiae, love of self to the point of contempt of God [3] .
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/jo...9861029en.html
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Last edited by Vico; Jul 4, '12 at 6:01 pm. Reason: add
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  #17  
Old Jul 4, '12, 6:34 pm
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Default Re: Conditions for mortal sin

Quote:
Originally Posted by james_neville View Post
But by not knowing what the sin actually entails, how can someone knowingly and willingly commit it?

Logically that is impossible
Perhaps you mean that someone has been taught that there is some mysterious word out there called "self-abuse" and that it is a mortal sin, but they have no idea that "self-abuse" is secret Catholic code for a very common behavior that they have been taught is perfectly good and natural and okay to do by their parents and school. They figure it means cutting or something. So you ask, is the teenager on the hook for "self-abuse" if they didn't know it was that and instead had categorized what they were doing as okay to do?

Maybe. Depends on if they were sincere in thinking their behavior was really okay. I am of the perspective that some people have enough mental clarity to have their natural intuition about marriage tell them it is wrong despite having heard many pieces of false information about the topic. These folks might be on the hook for it on account of their sense of the natural law, despite them not connecting it to some official word that is a mortal sin.
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  #18  
Old Jul 4, '12, 7:59 pm
james_neville james_neville is offline
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Default Re: Conditions for mortal sin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pug View Post
Perhaps you mean that someone has been taught that there is some mysterious word out there called "self-abuse" and that it is a mortal sin, but they have no idea that "self-abuse" is secret Catholic code for a very common behavior that they have been taught is perfectly good and natural and okay to do by their parents and school. They figure it means cutting or something. So you ask, is the teenager on the hook for "self-abuse" if they didn't know it was that and instead had categorized what they were doing as okay to do?

Yes this is what i am trying to express, because they don't know something is a sin. But they know the church teaches against "self abuse". if a person doesn't know that what they are doing would be classified under the label of "self-abuse" then i wouldn't think this fulfils the condition of full knowledge. similar principle with "abortion". if a person HONESTLY doesn't know that what they are doing would be classified as "abortion" and hence they think that what they are doing isn't a sin (which would be pretty hard since they go to an "abortion clinic") then i don't see why it would be classified as a mortal sin since one of the three conditions isn't met. They wouldn't have the knowledge that what they were doing was wrong

Maybe. Depends on if they were sincere in thinking their behavior was really okay. I am of the perspective that some people have enough mental clarity to have their natural intuition about marriage tell them it is wrong despite having heard many pieces of false information about the topic. These folks might be on the hook for it on account of their sense of the natural law, despite them not connecting it to some official word that is a mortal sin.

Last edited by james_neville; Jul 4, '12 at 8:11 pm.
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  #19  
Old Jul 5, '12, 8:49 am
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Default Re: Conditions for mortal sin

The abortion clinic example seems so unlikely, but I suppose they could somehow be innocently confused. Remember, though, that you can also be on the hook if you were responsible to have known, but chose to bury your head in the sand. If the person sensed this procedure could kill their child, but deliberately avoided finding out because they wanted to not know so they could still do it, this probably negates the lack of knowledge escape clause.

I only mention that because the abortion clinic example seems so unlikely from my perspective. But everyone is different.
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  #20  
Old Jul 5, '12, 10:26 am
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White Peony White Peony is offline
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Default Re: Conditions for mortal sin

1. It must be serious, meaning it usually is harmful to another person or to yourself. You must also know that it is serious

2. You commited the sin all on your own; no one forced you to do it.

3. You have to think about the sin before you do it.
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  #21  
Old Jul 5, '12, 6:23 pm
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Vico Vico is offline
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Default Re: Conditions for mortal sin

Fr. John Hardon Modern Catholic Dictionary:

Grave Sin

The transgression of a divine law in a grievous matter with full knowledge and consent.

The matter may be serious either in itself (as blasphemy) or because of the circumstances (as striking one's father or mother) or on account of its purpose (as telling a lie in order to destroy a person's character). Sufficient knowledge of the serious nature of a sinful action is present if one is clearly conscious that the act is mortally sinful, say because the Scriptures or the Church identify certain acts as seriously offensive to God. It is enough that one knows that what one intends to do may be a mortal sin, but does it anyhow. Indifference to the laws of God is equivalent to disobeying them.

Full consent is present when one freely wills to commit an action although one clearly knows it is gravely sinful. No sin is committed if one does not will the deed, no matter how clear one's knowledge may be. After all, the essence of sin is in the free will. Thus, too, a person does not sin who, with the best of will, cannot dispel obscene or blasphemous thoughts and desires, even though he or she well knows they are gravely sinful. The resolution to perform an action is not the same as the pleasure or satisfaction experienced in the emotions, nor the same as a compulsive idea, "I like the sin." One sign of partial knowledge or not full consent would be the fact that a person does not complete an action when this can easily be done, or is so minded that the person would rather die than commit a grave sin.
http://www.catholicculture.org/cultu...x.cfm?id=33808
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  #22  
Old Jul 5, '12, 6:49 pm
underacloud underacloud is offline
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Default Re: Conditions for mortal sin

Quote:
Originally Posted by thistle View Post
- Full consent of the will (Again this is simple. If you know a particular act is a sin of grave matter and go ahead and do it anyway then you have committed a mortal sin).
No, this is not "simple". You can know something to be grave matter, and you can go ahead and do it anyway, but there can be factors that may diminish culpability; factors that make the choice to sin something less than full consent.

As noted from the catechism:

1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.

Also, this time with regard to the specific sin of masturbation (although the principles may carry across other sins):

2352 ... To form an equitable judgment about the subjects' moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.

I am not making this point to diminish the notion of mortal sin, but simply to balance the idea that full consent of the will is as easily understood as suggested. People who struggle with certain sins that are grave matter may or may not be committing mortal sin each time they do so; they need to make frequent confessions and to submit to their confessor's guidance, but that guidance may include such direction as to not abstain from receiving Eucharist even though they commit such grave matter. Equally of course, a confessor may require confession prior to receiving; either way, the guidance of the confessor ought to be followed, but not as to excuse any such sins.
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  #23  
Old Jul 5, '12, 7:17 pm
Bookcat Bookcat is offline
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Default Re: Conditions for mortal sin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vico View Post
Blessed Pope John Paul II wrote of mortal and grave:

However, as we have already said, even in actual sin, when it is a case of grave (mortal) sin, man chooses himself in opposition to God. He chooses the creature in place of the Creator, and he rejects the Father's love as did the prodigal son in the first phase of his foolish adventure. To a certain extent every human sin is an expression of that "mystery of iniquity" (2 Thess 2:7) which St. Augustine summarized in the words: amor sui usque ad contemptum Deiae, love of self to the point of contempt of God [3] .
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/jo...9861029en.html
and he importantly noted basically noted that one does not have to choose the mortal sin specifically to reject God or something (as some have thought) etc --but it can be "for whatever reason". He does not have to intend to reject God etc in saying choosing to commit lust or murder etc.
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  #24  
Old Jul 5, '12, 7:18 pm
Bookcat Bookcat is offline
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Default Re: Conditions for mortal sin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookcat View Post
Compendium issued by Pope Benedict XVI

395. When does one commit a mortal sin?

1855-1861
1874

One commits a mortal sin when there are simultaneously present: grave matter, full knowledge, and deliberate consent. This sin destroys charity in us, deprives us of sanctifying grace, and, if unrepented, leads us to the eternal death of hell. It can be forgiven in the ordinary way by means of the sacraments of Baptism and of Penance or Reconciliation.

396. When does one commit a venial sin?

1862-1864
1875

One commits a venial sin, which is essentially different from a mortal sin, when the matter involved is less serious or, even if it is grave, when full knowledge or complete consent are absent. Venial sin does not break the covenant with God but it weakens charity and manifests a disordered affection for created goods. It impedes the progress of a soul in the exercise of the virtues and in the practice of moral good. It merits temporal punishment which purifies.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/compen...um-ccc_en.html
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