Calling husband stupid a mortal sin?


Yesterday I got frustrated and blurted out “What are you, stupid?” to my husband. Maybe a split second before I thought it was a bad idea, but I was frustrated. I immediately regretted it and apologized profusely a short time later. Is this a mortal sin? Thanks!


From the Compendium:

395. When does one commit a mortal sin?


One commits a mortal sin when there are simultaneously present: grave matter, full knowledge, and deliberate consent. This sin destroys charity in us, deprives us of sanctifying grace, and, if unrepented, leads us to the eternal death of hell. It can be forgiven in the ordinary way by means of the sacraments of Baptism and of Penance or Reconciliation.
396. When does one commit a venial sin?

One commits a venial sin, which is essentially different from a mortal sin, when the matter involved is less serious or, even if it is grave, when full knowledge or complete consent are absent. Venial sin does not break the covenant with God but it weakens charity and manifests a disordered affection for created goods. It impedes the progress of a soul in the exercise of the virtues and in the practice of moral good. It merits temporal punishment which purifies.


Thank you. These things can be sometimes hard to decipher. I would think it was not grave matter and maybe too spontaneous to be deliberate, but The Bible does say that calling someone a fool can put you in danger of hell, and I have a sensitive conscience, so I’m not sure.


The term that is translated often “fool” there is "raca" - and that term (raca) implies that the person has “lost all moral and religious sense --to the point of apostasy” (see Navarre Bible Commentary Matthew).

(So rather different than what one might think from the choice Bible translators have made for that obscure term of abuse! -though they might note that it is for that term in the FN)


I’m fairly sure that when it comes to anger towards someone, it’s only a mortal sin if it’s extreme anger. Being annoyed and calling someone stupid wouldn’t be a mortal sin unless it was accompanied by extreme anger. It sounds as if this wasn’t the case. Take from someone who went to confession for many years to get over being frequently annoyed with her husband (me! :)). I’ve mostly gotten over that behavior, though. Thank heavens.


I don’t think it was a Holy action. But I doubt it was Mortal sin. You may want to mention it at confession. If you are looking for a way out, you only asked him a question, you didn’t call him anything…:wink:


Anger can be mortal …and yes it can often be venial!

(and there is even “Just Anger” like that of Jesus in the Temple!)

Examples of mortal sin:

If one deliberately desires to murder someone or seriously wound someone – such is gravely against charity.


2302 By recalling the commandment, “You shall not kill,” our Lord asked for peace of heart and denounced murderous anger and hatred as immoral.

Anger is a desire for revenge. “To desire vengeance in order to do evil to someone who should be punished is illicit,” but it is praiseworthy to impose restitution "to correct vices and maintain justice." If anger reaches the point of a deliberate desire to kill or seriously wound a neighbor, it is gravely against charity; it is a mortal sin. The Lord says, “Everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment.” (emp. added)

One can note too that when it leads to serious injustice or serious scandal…seriously offends charity …or hatred of God etc. Such are also grave.

Grave things… not light.

Often anger is venial.

Also note from the Catechism:

2073 Obedience to the Commandments also implies obligations in matter which is, in itself, light. Thus abusive language is forbidden by the fifth commandment, but would be a grave offense only as a result of circumstances or the offender’s intention.

Your confessor can assist you in judging such if needed.

And of course let us as St. Paul in Sacred Scripture notes not let the sun go down on our anger…and anger be “put away” from us as he notes…(the sinful kind in particular -for at times just anger is needed)


I got a good laugh from what you wrote about only asking him a question. Ha! :smiley:



I was wrong - I refreshed my memory only partially…and incorrectly.

Raca is an obscure form abuse - but the word that is translated as ‘fool’ there is not raca! But what I noted about “raca” actually applies to the word that “fool” is the translation there for. So the part about being “liable to hell” - such is referring to that term that implies that the person has “lost all moral and religious sense --to the point of apostasy”.

Raca (that Jesus says one is liable to the council) what Bible translations will translate as “insults” or use even “raca” is an obscure term in Aramaic and is not easy to translate -and was a form of verbal abuse that indicated “utter contempt”! (again the context of the particular word that is hard to translate meant an utter contempt)

(again see Navarre Bible Commentary Matthew -form which I draw this - but read it as I just did not as before where I looked too quickly!)

Also see my commentary on Anger above.


Mortal has the element of death in it, “mort…” I think only you know the gravity and the intent, the conditions that were present.

This sin destroys charity in us, deprives us of sanctifying grace,

I like to consider this passage from the catechism. I believe that having a sense of my relationship with God helps me determine if God’s grace is “dying” in me, or if I have cause a death in the life of grace* of the other person*. Sometimes we cause the other person we hurt to despair or react with their own anger.

Anger can be mortal, depending on all those things. Tone of voice, repetition, etc…


I dunno. The above seems a little extreme. Like something an Opus Dei member would refer to. If it’s a grave sin to ask one’s husband if he’s stupid (or something similar), I think that a LOT of Catholic wives are, well, not going to Heaven.


I think you need to read again what is noted there. Your thinking it is saying something it is not…


Opus Dei? You do understand that they are an organization within the Catholic Church that is in good standing, lets please not refer to them as if they were in error.


No, not in error. Just really focused on sin.


And again - need to return to the text (one can find similar in other commentaries) - it is NOT saying what her impression of it was…


You must not have read the Navarre nor the works of their Founding Saint… Navarre and St. Escriva are focused on holiness not sin. But this is off topic. Please re -read my post.


Practically speaking:
A good effort at reconciliation might be to offer to reconcile in his favorite way, which if he’s like every other breathing male, would be a conjugal “visit”. Works for us anyway…It’s amazing how bad men’s short term memory can be. He might even actually admit to being stupid under the right duress.


I did re-read it. It makes a big deal out of calling one’s husband stupid, and sounding as if it could be a mortal sin. But I believe you about not meaning what I thought it meant. I was mistaken. I’ll let it go. :slight_smile:


Your saying* the opposite* of what I posted…please read again.


The poster indicated that the Opus Dei is “extreme” That is not the case. If I said , Gee that sounds like some kind of namby pamby thing a jesuit would say it is not a good connotation to the Jesuits. I think the poster has a skewed view of Opus Dei, I think we can thank dan brown.

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