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  #1  
Old Jun 2, '11, 9:08 am
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Holly3278 Holly3278 is offline
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Default Mental Illness and Mortal Sin

Hey everyone. My priest told me that because I have Borderline Personality Disorder which causes a lot of impulsiveness that he doesn't know if I am even able to commit a mortal sin or not. He thinks it reduces my culpability to the point where sins I commit are not mortal. What do you think?
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  #2  
Old Jun 2, '11, 9:22 am
Sancta Caecilia Sancta Caecilia is offline
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Default Re: Mental Illness and Mortal Sin

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Originally Posted by Holly3278 View Post
Hey everyone. My priest told me that because I have Borderline Personality Disorder which causes a lot of impulsiveness that he doesn't know if I am even able to commit a mortal sin or not. He thinks it reduces my culpability to the point where sins I commit are not mortal. What do you think?
only you can judge whether it affects you so greatly that you are not in control of what you do- its possible.
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  #3  
Old Jun 2, '11, 9:29 am
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Default Re: Mental Illness and Mortal Sin

I wouldn't count on it. It's safer to assume that you are capable of mortal sin and resist accordingly. To the best of your ability.

Last edited by josephback; Jun 2, '11 at 9:29 am. Reason: correction.....
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  #4  
Old Jun 2, '11, 10:51 am
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MissionDiakonos MissionDiakonos is offline
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Default Re: Mental Illness and Mortal Sin

Find a good and holy priest to be a good confessor and spiritual director for you. He will be able to guide you concerning whether your culpabilty is diminished or not for certain sins. If you are able, it would also benefit you to find a good Catholic therapist to also help you with this. The fact that you are concerned about it demonstrates your capability to meet and overcome your life's challenges. May God's blessings be upon you.
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  #5  
Old Jun 2, '11, 11:15 am
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Default Re: Mental Illness and Mortal Sin

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Originally Posted by MissionDiakonos View Post
Find a good and holy priest to be a good confessor and spiritual director for you. He will be able to guide you concerning whether your culpabilty is diminished or not for certain sins. If you are able, it would also benefit you to find a good Catholic therapist to also help you with this. The fact that you are concerned about it demonstrates your capability to meet and overcome your life's challenges. May God's blessings be upon you.
Yeah I would really like to have a Catholic therapist but I don't know of any that accept Medicaid.
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  #6  
Old Jun 2, '11, 11:20 am
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Joe 5859 Joe 5859 is offline
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Default Re: Mental Illness and Mortal Sin

I think your priest is in a better position to advise you on this than any of us. Trust what he has told you. None of us are pastors nor are we certified clinicians or diagnosticians.

Obviously, I can't speak to you personally, but -- generally speaking -- I can certainly see where some people's personality disorders would reduce their culpability greatly and severely impede their ability to freely consent to sin (which is, of course, one of the three prerequisites for a sin to be mortal).

Certainly, as the other Joseph said, we want to resist sin to the best of our ability. You wouldn't want to take the priest's counsel as a "license to sin" without a care as to the consequences. But, from your previous posts, I doubt you are in danger of doing that.
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  #7  
Old Jun 2, '11, 11:29 am
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MissionDiakonos MissionDiakonos is offline
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Default Re: Mental Illness and Mortal Sin

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Originally Posted by Holly3278 View Post
Yeah I would really like to have a Catholic therapist but I don't know of any that accept Medicaid.
You might want to check www.catholictherapists.com/. This provides names and locations of Catholic therapists as well as their clinical approaches and what insurance they accept.
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  #8  
Old Jun 2, '11, 11:35 am
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ChristIsTheWay ChristIsTheWay is offline
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Default Re: Mental Illness and Mortal Sin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holly3278 View Post
Hey everyone. My priest told me that because I have Borderline Personality Disorder which causes a lot of impulsiveness that he doesn't know if I am even able to commit a mortal sin or not. He thinks it reduces my culpability to the point where sins I commit are not mortal. What do you think?
Basically, two questions arise: is your priest a good and holy man who is faithful the Magisterium? Second, does he possess a good understanding of Borderline Personality Disorder and its implications for culpability?

I also second what Joe said. No one here is a priest or a mental health professional. Unless you have good reasons (your priest is known to dissent from Church teaching) you should rely on his advice and not ours. He is far better qualified than any of us. God bless.
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  #9  
Old Jun 2, '11, 11:44 am
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Default Re: Mental Illness and Mortal Sin

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Originally Posted by ChristIsTheWay View Post
Basically, two questions arise: is your priest a good and holy man who is faithful the Magisterium? Second, does he possess a good understanding of Borderline Personality Disorder and its implications for culpability?

I also second what Joe said. No one here is a priest or a mental health professional. Unless you have good reasons (your priest is known to dissent from Church teaching) you should rely on his advice and not ours. He is far better qualified than any of us. God bless.
Yes to both of your questions.
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  #10  
Old Jun 2, '11, 11:46 am
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Default Re: Mental Illness and Mortal Sin

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Yes to both of your questions.
Then I strongly recommend that you go with his advice. No one here can top his qualifications in this matter. God bless.
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  #11  
Old Jun 2, '11, 12:03 pm
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Default Re: Mental Illness and Mortal Sin

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Originally Posted by ChristIsTheWay View Post
Then I strongly recommend that you go with his advice. No one here can top his qualifications in this matter. God bless.
I understand but my priest didn't really give me any advice. He simply offered me his opinion. I don't know whether or not I can commit a mortal sin and I really need to know. I am always so terrified of going to Hell.
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  #12  
Old Jun 2, '11, 12:30 pm
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Default Re: Mental Illness and Mortal Sin

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Originally Posted by Holly3278 View Post
I understand but my priest didn't really give me any advice. He simply offered me his opinion. I don't know whether or not I can commit a mortal sin and I really need to know. I am always so terrified of going to Hell.
I'd try to schedule an appointment with him to discuss the matter in depth. I can only say that I do not doubt that there are mental health conditions out there that could, in theory, eliminate an individual's culpability for sin. Given what I know of borderline personality disorder, I'd say your priest could be correct about your culpability. However, I am not an expert nor do I possess any qualifications in this matter. Try to meet with him as soon as you can so he can address your concerns. I will pray for you. God bless.
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  #13  
Old Jun 2, '11, 1:00 pm
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Default Re: Mental Illness and Mortal Sin

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Originally Posted by Holly3278 View Post
Yeah I would really like to have a Catholic therapist but I don't know of any that accept Medicaid.
Holly3278, I would call your Diocese office or your local Catholic Charities office and see if they know of anyone who would be willing to accept Medicaid or work with you on the financial side of things. God Bless!
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  #14  
Old Jun 2, '11, 1:12 pm
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larsenl1 larsenl1 is offline
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Default Re: Mental Illness and Mortal Sin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holly3278 View Post
Hey everyone. My priest told me that because I have Borderline Personality Disorder which causes a lot of impulsiveness that he doesn't know if I am even able to commit a mortal sin or not. He thinks it reduces my culpability to the point where sins I commit are not mortal. What do you think?
Hi Holly

I have a daughter with mental illness. She is a teenager and was originally diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder when she was 14. Now the psych changed her diagnosis to Borderline Personality Disorder. I was told it was because the DSM V is phasing out RAD and I was told by another provider that SSD and Medicaid do not cover RAD in adults.

Anyway, her culpability is in question. There are some behaviors that she cannot control. She is learning how to cope and the transition from children's services to adult services frighten all of us.

One thing that has helped was receiving the anointing of the sick. Also several people in my parish dedicated a novena to St. Dymphna and I invoke her intercession often.

I do not know what mortal sin concerns you so much. If you plan to go out shoplifting, that seems to be a mortal sin. If you come home from a trip to the pharmacy and find you have shampoo and nail polish and cookies in your purse, because you compulsively steal, that would not probably be a mortal sin, rather a venial sin. Only you and your priest know this. Trust your priest. Do not obsess about going to hell. Receive the sacraments often.

God Bless You

P.S. You probably qualify for vocational rehab services and remedial services through state and federal aid and a lot of therapists do take medicaid. My parish office had a worker who researched counselors and mental health providers for us. It helped a lot in the process of admitting my daughter for residential treatment.
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Last edited by larsenl1; Jun 2, '11 at 1:16 pm. Reason: adding information
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  #15  
Old Mar 9, '12, 6:02 pm
shawnhd45 shawnhd45 is offline
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Wink Re: Mental Illness and Mortal Sin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holly3278 View Post
Hey everyone. My priest told me that because I have Borderline Personality Disorder which causes a lot of impulsiveness that he doesn't know if I am even able to commit a mortal sin or not. He thinks it reduces my culpability to the point where sins I commit are not mortal. What do you think?
Well, I suffer from anxiety, depression, panic disorders..which is all accompanied with compulsion/impulse behavior. (not to mention I'm very scrupulous) I think it is NOT possible to commit mortal sin by someone in your , or my condition.

Now, do I think we can sin? YES!!! I also think we can commit acts that are grave, and we have knowledge of..but DELIBERATE CONSENT is always in question. Habits, psychological factors, etc; ALL play a part in this...look at it this way. If you think you have but not for sure then you HAVE NOT! It takes DELIBERATE CONSENT, that means to "have a long and considerate thinking moment" to do purposely without other factors causing it. Understand?
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