A question on the nature of mortal sin


So I have a question: If you do something which you think is a mortal sin, but it later turns out that what you did is not mortally sinful, did you commit a mortal sin? Basically, is the intent to commit a mortal sin a mortal sin? If someone thinks that telling a small lie (venial sin) is mortally sinful and still does it, does that make it a grave matter by virtue of the intent having been one to commit a grave sin? This is something that i’ve heard some possibly conflicting views, so any clarification is appreciated.


Good question. I’m inclined to say yes since what mortal sin basically is at its core is a rejection of God. So if you think something is mortal, and decide to do it anyway, you’re still rejecting God in your heart. Which would be a mortal sin in itself.

I could be wrong, but that’s how I look at it. Hopefully a more knowledgeable poster has a more official answer though.


Here is the Catechism:

[quote=CCC]1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.[SUP]131[/SUP]”

Here we have the core of the church’s traditional teaching, which was reiterated frequently and vigorously during the recent synod. The synod in fact not only reaffirmed the teaching of the Council of Trent concerning the existence and nature of mortal and venial sins,(95) but it also recalled that mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent. It must be added-as was likewise done at the synod-that some sins are intrinsically grave and mortal by reason of their matter. That is, there exist acts which, per se and in themselves, independently of circumstances, are always seriously wrong by reason of their object. These acts, if carried out with sufficient awareness and freedom, are always gravely sinful.(96)

-Reconciliatio et Paenitentia 17 § 12

It is also helpful to read the entirely of RP 12. Clearly the question is whether the object consists of grave matter. I don’t know the exact answer.

[SUP]131[/SUP] Reconciliatio et Paenitentia 17 § 12


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