Conflicts in Church Teachings?


#1

Hi everyone, I’m a practicing Catholic, but maybe sometimes I tend to overthink things.
Anyway, I thought up a difficulty I have between 2 Church teachings and wondered if anyone could help me out-- it’s about mortal sin and God’s mercy.
I understand it that it’s part of our faith that if we die in a state of mortal sin, we are sent to Hell. However, we’re also taught that God has the final decision, and we can never be 100% certain of our salvation status here on Earth.
So which one is correct??? Right after someone commits mortal sin, can they be sure they are going to Hell if they don’t get to confession, or not? If one is correct, wouldn’t that mean the other Church teaching is wrong?

To illustrate my question, I had an uncle who lived a pretty sinful life and probably died in what would be the Catholic definition of mortal sin. Should I continue to pray for him or not, becuase we are taught if someone is sent to Hell, they’re not getting out. So should I pray for him???

Thanks,

In sincere confusion,
rep


#2

I hope someone else can give you a fuller answer because I don’t think that mine is too helpful but I’ll try to help! Someone had asked on the “ask an apologist” forum if someone who commits suicide will go to hell. Part of the answer may be relevant to your question:

Even if one is fully culpable, God may still provide a way of salvation for them. The Catechism teaches, “By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance” (CCC 2283).


#3

If your accurately informed conscience dictates that you have sinned in a mortal way and you subvert it instead of seeking reconciliation with God then how is salvation possible? So yes, if we are in an unrepentant state of mortal sin we can sadly know that our soul merits the pains of hell. The good news is that I know very few who would reflect on a sinful act and then defy their consciences call for repentance.

Assume that your uncle, in spite of appearances, repented for his sins, God will find a loving way to answer your prayers.

God Bless


#4

I think that if we die in a state of mortal sin that our soul is in *danger *of Hell. I don’t think the Church teaches that mortal sin automatically condemns us to Hell.

Thanks to Eden for the above quote from the CCC.

Malia


#5

Jesus is the final judge. Remember the thief on the cross next to Jesus. Just before he died asked Jesus for forgiveness and Jesus had forgiven and gave the thief salvation.
One does not know your Uncle’s last thoughts or wishes but Jesus. Are you sure your Uncle did not have a similar conversation with Jesus and grant him eternal salvation.
Do not judge or one will be judged.
My understanding is that the Catholic Church teaches the way to salvation not the way to damnation. Pray for your Uncle and all souls esspecially those in most need of Jesus’s Mercy. :thumbsup:


#6

Keep in mind, a mortal sin is subjective and dependent on the particular sinner. What may be a mortal sin for one person, may not be a mortal sin for someone else. Someone correct me if that is wrong, but it seems apparent from par. 1859 of the CCC “Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act…”

What this means then, is that we cannot declare any particular sin a “mortal sin” (save maybe blaspheming against the Holy Spirit cf. Matt. 12:32), precisely because the sin has to be a grave matter (which is objective), however the sinner must also have full knowledge and consent (which is subjective).

Murder may or may not be a mortal sin, depending on the sinner, and the same goes for any other grave sins. So then how is one to know which sins are mortal and which arent? I believe only God can declare this. So in short, your uncle lived a pretty sinful life by your account, however you cannot know with certainty whether those sins he committed were mortal, because we cannot know the depths of his mind to determine if he had full knowledge and full consent. I would venture to say that the chances are, precisely because he lived a sinful life, that he may and probably did not have full knowledge of the sin he was committing and the ramifications of it, which directly resulted in his committing them.

That is my take on it at least:)


#7

When having trouble with such issues post the question on the Ask an Apologist section. They can always help.

matt


#8

Your ideas about mortal sin are clearly intended to be comforting but are in fact wrong. From your example murder is always a mortal sin because it violates natural law/ moral law/ Ten Commandments and this law is explicitly written on the hearts of all. CCC1860.

The severally mentally handicapped etc. may not be fully imputable for the offence but everyone is deemed to have sufficient knowledge and consent when violating moral laws even without hearing the Gospel. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart (sinful habits) actually increase the voluntary character of the sin not the other way around.

We should never shy away from identifying the ugly nature of sin. We must be clear in declaring what acts are sinful as revealed to us by God or Church, however the eternal judgment of the soul is always left to the mercy of God. In this way we can know them by their fruit yet we judge them not lest we be judged.

I have every confidence that if this poster prays for his uncle that God will lovingly answer his prayers in the way that suits the will of God, which is perfect in its charity and compassion.

God Bless


#9

[quote=Deacon2006]murder is always a mortal sin because it violates natural law/ moral law/ Ten Commandments and this law is explicitly written on the hearts of all. CCC1860.
[/quote]

But the subjectivity of such an offense cannot be denied. Is every soldier committing a mortal sin, or every person in self defense? Par. 2269 of the CCC states, “Unintentional killing is not morally imputable. But one is not exonerated from grave offense if, without proportionate reasons, he has acted in a way that brings about someone’s death, even without the intention to do so.”

Proportionate reasons are subject to the the person committing the act. Who else can determine this except one who knows his own mind. Murder is not always a mortal sin according to the CCC, because it is entirely dependant on the reasons for doing so, and seeing as how there is no official scale to compare reasons for doing an action with the action itself, it is made completely subjective.


#10

Murder is always a mortal sin. The prohibtion against murder is universal and obliges everyone, always and everywhere.CCC2261

God Bless


#11

[quote=rep1867]we can never be 100% certain of our salvation status here on Earth.

[/quote]

Sanctifying grace is your ticket to heaven, if you die with it you are bound for heaven, if you die without it you go to hell. You acquire sanctifying grace in baptism. You can lose sanctifying grace through mortal sin - freely, knowingly defying God in a serious matter. You can regain sanctifying grace after mortal sin by receiving sacramental absolution. What you can’t be certain of, unless you have received a very special revelation from God, is whether you will commit a mortal sin in the future and die unrepentant.

[quote=rep1867]I had an uncle who lived a pretty sinful life and probably died in what would be the Catholic definition of mortal sin. Should I continue to pray for him or not, becuase we are taught if someone is sent to Hell, they’re not getting out. So should I pray for him???

[/quote]

On earth, we cannot know for certain that a person has not died in a state of grace. The Church declares and defines saints but does not declare and define the damned. So, prayers for the dead are always a good thing. If it turns out that he did not die in a state of grace, then the Church teaches that our prayers are applied to someone else who can use them.


#12

Thanks everyone for your help- you’ve shed a lot of light on the subject for me. My uncle wasn’t a murderer, but he had several other problems- I just hope God did pave a way of repentance and salvation for him.
I started thinking about this issue after reading a few Catholic examination of consciences on the Internet. (I’ve been going to confession on average twice a month lately). Some of these state that all sins against chastity are mortal if they are committed with full knowledge and consent of will. It seems subjective to me what “full knowledge and consent of will” are though. For example, it might seem that an overwhelming “primal urge” (for lack of a better term) might rob one of full consent of committing a sin against chastity. Not that that’s an excuse though… I don’t know. This is over my head!


#13

[quote=Feanaro’s Wife]I think that if we die in a state of mortal sin that our soul is in *danger *of Hell. I don’t think the Church teaches that mortal sin automatically condemns us to Hell.

[/quote]

That’s how I understood it too!

Alan


#14

I know one thing for sure, I’m certainly not going to test God by leaving a stain on my soul when I can hi-tail it to confession and unload it. He is loving and merciful, but also just.

I’m sure if one dies with mortal sin, and had intentions of going to confession at the next regularly scheduled time, he would consider it. But I also believe he would have a few choice words for someone who drags their feet week after week, not going to confession when they really need to.

Been there; done that and boy did I feel lucky he didn’t take me in a car wreck or something. I family aquaintance was just killed this way recently and it really made me think twice from now on about putting off confession. Make time, is my new rule.

:banghead:


closed #15

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