Are some mortal sins more grave than other mortal sins?


#1

It would seem that various sexual sins are less grave than sins such as bank robbery, extortion, murder. Yet all mortal sins have the potential to condemn a person to Hell. I’m wondering how God’s justice would be applied to someone who died with unrepented sexual sins as opposed to a mass murderer after his death. Could it be that some souls suffer more in hell? Maybe Dante was on to something with his description of the different circles of hell. Anyways, sorry if this post comes across morbid.


#2

Yes, there are varying degrees of sin and punishment.

‘He that hath delivered me to thee, hath the greater sin.’ (John 19:11)


#3

The degrees of culpability for sin are infinite, but there is a major distinction between venial and mortal in that in the later, the soul has truly rejected God in some way, which is synonymous with saying that soul is going to Hell. The fundamental decision between life and death is a polemic.

One might be surprised though on which men are allegedly more evil than other men. Is Adolf Hitler a worse man than an arrogant, materially successful lawyer that goes through life without breaking a single law? Mankind would readily condemn the first man but not so much the second, but mankind is a simpleton. It does not gaze into the soul as God does, and see what the creature truly is.


#4

Even though there are more serious mortal sins than others it makes no difference at death. Dying in a state of mortal sin, no matter what the mortal sin is, means you go immediately to Hell.
As for the different punishments in Hell, personally I don’t think it really makes much of a difference because everyone in Hell suffers the chief punishment which is eternal separation from God which means any additional punishments are lesser ones.


#5

James 2:10

For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.


#6

There is nothing to be gained in contemplating such a question. Spend your enenrgy working out your salvation “with fear and trembling” and do not consider the altentative, because it is bad, regardless of degrree.


#7

The idea you present has to do with what sin does to us in this world.

When a sin is done out of meaness or with great deliberation, then it hardens the heart, and it makes being sorry more difficult.

When a sin is done out of weakness, when resistence breaks down, then it dosen’t necessarily harden the heart, and in some cases, may make one more sorry for being so weak.

So yes it does make a difference.

Jesus said that harlots would enter the kingdom of heaven before the Pharasees, which relates to this idea that there are differences of sin with some being worse.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.


#8

#9

Regardless of the fates of those in Hell, we can at least presume that the gravity of a sin does have impact on our state in Purgatory. Ten murders forgiven still have an immensely greater temporal punishment due for them than ten instances of fornication forgiven.


#10

In hell the nature and severity of one’s suffering will correspond to the sins one committed while living (in their kind, their gravity, their number and harmful effects on others). A major glutton will suffer one kind of punishment, while a major liar will suffer another kind. The worse the sinner and the sins he has committed, the more severe his punishment in hell will be.


#11

It also matters in heaven. Everyone will be rewarded according to their works. Those with the least sin will inherit a higher place in heaven. I don’t know what this means exactly, but my guess is they will somehow feel God’s love more strongly. Maybe the people towards the bottom of heaven will serve those towards the top. All will be in God’s presence, but their experience will be different.


#12

Is this Church teaching, or Dante? I thought the nature of Hell was eternal separation from God, not so much individualized tortures.


#13

I am not talking about Dante, but about what I have read elsewhere. I believe what I have said is Church teaching, but you can look up “Hell” in a Catholic encyclopedia and see what it says. God bless you.


#14

Excellent point. Us Catholics too often fall prey to the old folklore about heaven and hell. The joy of heaven is full communion with God while the damnation of hell is eternal separation. We experience one or the other, not more of one or less of the other.


#15

But eternal hell is BOTH separation from God AND individual torture.


#16

Lol. Not morbid at all. I enjoyed it. I think it depends on the sexual sin. Are you talking about fornication, adultery, incest or rape? There are different levels and types of sexual sins. I trust that God will give the right judgment. According to earthly standards, most people would say the mass-murderer will receive a harsher punishment and be condemned? Most people are not mass-murderers though. Most people are fornicators. Sometimes I think people like to think of the worse possible sin to excuse their own sins. All sins are different and people do them for different reasons.

Here is the ranking of the seven deadly
Pride
Envy
Anger
Sloth
Greed
Gluttony
Lust


#17

I highlighted a point that I think is very important. Everyone always wants to bring Hitler into the equation and say, “well, I wasn’t as bad as him.” Sin is sin.


#18

Are the big 7in any type of order?


#19

The Church points out 6 sins that are the worst sins of all, the very worst sin of them all being hatred of God. Some of the other worst sins are: apostasy,* heresy*, and schism. I think another one of them is murder. I think that the last one could be adultery, but am very uncertain about that one. God bless you.


#20

Yes. From most offensive to least offensive.


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