Acting inappropriately at church... mortal sin?

If I had a disagreement with someone inside a church, is this a sin?

I think it’s more acting inappropriately before the Real Presence.

Depends on the gravity of the situation, your intent, level of consent, etc . . . Not all inappropriate behavior in Church is mortal, and this would best be discerned by a priest in Confession.

Even if it isn’t mortal, that doesn’t mean it isn’t sinful. But, and please remember I’m just an anonymous person on the Internet who is feeling a bit tongue in cheek today, I imagine most inappropriate behavior during mass will bring about a little extra purification in Purgatory, not eternal damnation.

Still, Confession can be good for venial sins, too.

I suppose that depends on what you mean by “disagreement.”

If you disagreed about whether to go home for lunch or eat at a restaurant – and then decided to go visit mum instead – I can’t see how that would be a sin at all.

If you disagreed about who to vote for president of the US and it devolved into a screaming match and exchanging blows during the consecration – then yeah, mortal sin.


In general, I’ve been told and agree that ordinary conversations should be abstained from in front of the altar. It’s a sacred place and not for common use.

That said, unless a “disagreement” led to raised voices or physical altercation, I’d not say it rose to the level of mortal sin. You didn’t intend to argue there.

Take it to confession anyway. Average sinners can’t diagnose sin.



Was it during Mass?

Why are we worrying about a disagreement being a mortal sin if the conversation takes place in the sanctuary? Subjects such as this are the reason that more and more young adults, that were raised in the faith, are looking elsewhere. My 31 year old attorney daughter who attended both Catholic undergrad and law school told me a few months ago when we were discussing her cousins leaving the faith that the entire system of “grading” sin was ridiculous, that trying to equate something like this disagreement in the Church and murder as both being mortal sins is beyond ludacris to most millenials. I think focusing on the Joy of the Gospels and Corporal Works of Mercy should be stressed with our young adults. The last thing we need is more OCD kids, worrying about what is venial or mortal instead of living out a life helping others.:shrug:

They’re right.

On the other hand, there ARE some actions that are REALLY, REALLY, REALLY BAD.

Others, not so much.

I got a talking-to in Confession by a senior Monsignor … I had taken an action and reported it to him as a mortal sin. He thought it was merely an embarrassing event … that three things are necessary for an action to be a MORTAL sin. It must be serious, you must know it’s serious, AND it must be done deliberately. So, my “offense” was not a mortal sin, not a sin and merely embarrassing in front of God, … enough to be funny … he thought it was hilarious.

Unless all three factors are present, it’s not a mortal sin.

Probably not a sin at all.

Or maybe just a teeny tiny venial offense. So just say you’re sorry and get on with it.

BUT some people go around sucking lemons and acting like gossips and make every thought, word and action a sin.

Someone once said, that somewhere out there is someone who is offended because someone else somewhere might be having a good time.

[It was George H.W. Bush and he had bought a new boat and enjoyed driving it around and some person took exception to it.]

Someone at mass today actually let his phone ring in church, waited till last ring, then answered it and talked loud enough that everyone in the church could hear the conversation.

Good question. While not saying it is a sin because it depends on the person doing it, it is good to self examine why it happens in the church at all?

Did I not concentrate or focus enough that I am in God’s house? Did I have too much free time as to allow myself to engage in a disagreement with someone?

Generally time is just too short in the church for us to be occupied deeply or emotionally with other things other than to follow the liturgy. Before we know it, if it is the mass, it is finished, and it is time to go out.

I have friends who just have a first nature to take exception with every darned thing.

Militant busybodies.

You could be performing a life saving rescue and they will take some kind of disagreement. Seriously.

Two IRS employees came after me for “talking to a woman”. Seriously.

Someone came to my house and really disliked the trowel marks in the masonry steps.

One day, we were at Mass … about five minutes before the Mass started … some person got up went up onto the Altar and moved a flower vase about two inches away from the Tabernacle.

What were they seeing or thinking?

Sometimes, you just relax, smile and pray for whoever needs it the most.

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