Am I in mortal sin?


Hi all

So to make this brief:

Yesterday I walked up to my window and saw my neighbours doing something that I initially thought was sexually intimate but wasn’t too sure as they appeared to be dressed. I then sat down and tried to cancel it from my mind.

However, after a few moments, Curiosity took the best of me and i walked back to the window to ‘double check’ - not out of lust but honestly out of a certain kind of curiosity - the kind that is hard to settle unless you check out for yourself.

They weren’t there thank goodness so nothing there to see. However, did i committ a grave sin by purposefully putting myself into what could have potentially have been an occasion of sin?

Also, i later heard excruciating ‘noises’ of sexual pleasure so onvooualy what i first saw was an act of sexual intimacy (even though i wasn’t sure). What followed was a fierce battle against a temptation to lust and thankfully God helped me out so I did not give in.

But did I commit a mortal sin by taking a second look earlier on?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, been stressing out for 2 days straight now.


“Where there’s smoke there’s fire” is what I’ve always been told… IMO if you think you saw something and weren’t sure, resisting the temptation to need to know will help you in future scenarios. The sin was giving into the temptation of wanting to know what was happening regardless of what it was. You were willing to risk, for that moment, the possibility of seeing something illicit. Confess to your priest and ask forgiveness from God.

Sometimes things are put in our path that we did not seek. This isn’t our fault and temptations will always present themselves. Avoid active participation by fleeing :slight_smile:


I’ve had a similar experience before. I don’t know if its a mortal sin or not but I’m sure an extra trip to Confession won’t hurt either. Better safe than sorry you know? Normally if you feel guilty about something, its a hint that there was something not right about it. That’s not to say you committed a MORTAL sin but still, if it bothers you, just make a quick trip to Confession


Mortal sin:

Its subject must be a grave (or serious) matter.
It must be committed with full knowledge, both of the sin and of the gravity of the offense; "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 [mental illness]. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest."[4] Also, "Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors."[5]
It must be committed with deliberate and complete consent, enough for it to have been a personal decision to commit the sin. "Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God's law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin."[6]


It would certainly be objectively and mortally sinful to purposely and freely choose to view people having sex.

Now, you did not have full knowledge that you were going to see someone having sex when you looked. You did, however, suspect that you might, and you were curious to see if your suspicions are true. Obviously, only you know how strong your curiosity was, but it could certainly be strong enough that your moral culpability was diminished. It could also be true that you’re not even sure why you looked, but that you did so almost reflexively, and perhaps even suspecting they’re doing nothing at all at least as much as you suspected they were doing something.

If this is the case, and if I were in your situation, I would probably consider this a venial sin.

However, if I strongly suspected I could see people having sex if only I looked, and if I chose to look because I wanted to see this, and if I was quite sure that that is why I looked, then yes, I would consider that a mortal sin. The further away from this situation then, as I said before, the more this scenario seems like a venial sin.

But as others have said, and to put it in my own way: if you’re not a scrupulous person, then taking this into confession is a wonderful idea.; but if you are scrupulous then, of course, you should confess those sins which you are sure are mortal sins.


When you said that you did not take a second look out of lust but out of curiosity I would suspect that you did not sin. If I were in the same position I probably would have taken a second look too, not out of lust, but to see if that is what they were doing…if they were I would tell them if they wanted to act that way to go somewhere private, I didn’t care for the stage show!!!


Thanks all for your charitable and wise advice.

The sin has been confessed.

Deo gratias

closed #8

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit