Can a mentally disabled person sin?


I have a daughter who is physically and mentally disabled. She will never learn to speak more than a couple of words. Her comprehension and intellect will never exceed a very basic level.

Because an understanding of sin is necessary for a sin to be mortal, can she actually sin?


Dear CJE,

Usually the age for attaining the ability to reason is set at seven years old. It does not appear that you child will ever be able to sin–certainly not seriously.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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