Can someone commit a sin so that good may come of it?


#1

I enrolled in an adult education class concerning the Old Testament at my parish. Last week we read and discussed Genesis 19:1-11.

The instructor extolled the actions of Lot and no one else in the class disagreed with him. I am shy, but I wish I had spoken up. I don’t think Lot offering his virgin daughters to be raped was anything to be celebrated, despite his motivation to protect his visitors. I know there was a cultural difference and women where seen as property to the ancient Hebrews.

We are continuing our discussion next week. I am so disgusted by the way this is being treated, but I don’t know who to argue that Lot’s actions should not be praised. Any advice?


#2

Lot offered his daughters to Sodomites in order to protect his guests. In doing so, he was choosing to commit one evil in order to avoid another - the Church clearly teaches that this is wrong: “One may never do evil so that good may result from it” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1789).

The article on Catholic Encyclopedia**Lot explains: “Lot interceded in behalf of his guests in accordance with his duties as host, which are most sacred in the East, but made the mistake of placing them above his duties as a father by offering his two daughters to the wicked designs of the Sodomites”. A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture agrees: “Lot cannot be praised. He chose what he considered the less of two evils” (p. 195).


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