Confused About Priest's Advice


I struggle with online cybersex issues to the point where it may be an addiction. When I commit the sin, I try to go to Confession as soon as possible and, thus, it usually means I end up going to Confession multiple times per week (to clarify, it is not that I go to Confession with the intent to confess and then repeat the sin, but I confess and then later end up falling into the same temptation and sin).

The Priest I often confess to (it is totally random, there are four priests at the parish and for some reason the days I go to Confession are the days he is there) tells me that since it is an addiction it is not a mortal sin. I even told the Priest that before committing the sin I know that what I am doing is sinful (even recognizing I’ll have to go to Confession although I forgot to mention that part to him this most recent time, but I had mentioned it before though I think), but he still said it is an addiction and thus not a mortal sin.

This has caused me further problems because in the past few days after the Priest told me it is not mortal, I have committed the sin feeling like ‘well I don’t have to worry because the Priest said it is not mortal’. Obviously, I know this is a terrible way to operate and, at some level, I do not want to commit the sin (although I usually come to the conclusion shamefully after the fact).

I am now confused and more than a little worried because, if I decide to disagree with the Priest and go to Confession anyway, I then have to guess whether it will be him handling Confessions that day.


Three things are necessary for a sin to be mortal.

It must be grave.

It must be done with full knowledge.

It must be committed with consent, that is, free will.

From what I have been hearing from my own confessor, the consent, my not be done totally free.

If in your case, you in fact have an addiction, then the addiction is over riding your free will.

It could be the same as an alcoholic.

This does not mean you can just give up and give into temptation every time you feel the impulse.

You must begin to over come the temptation by strengthening yourself spiritually, and this can only be done through grace from Jesus Christ.

Prayer and sacraments are the only means I know of, in allowing yourself to be open to Christ, who will transform your being, so that love for Him, will become stronger than the desire to sin.

However, you have to cooperate. Prayer and sacraments are a must, but you also have to stay away from the things that feed the temptation.

Internet Porn is a no no. Understand who the people are, that run these web sites and know how they treat other human beings, especially women. Don’t buy the line that the women who perform in porn, freely. Many are trapped into situations where they are essentially slaves to the producers of such junk.

Even the few women who say they are in it freely, are still doing harm to themselves, out of their own stupidity. Taking advantage of a person in their moments of foolishness and ignorance, is also a sin.

Don’t feed this vile industry!

Get yourself into a daily schedule of prayer. Its the only way to become spiritually strong enough to win over these desires.

God Bless


I struggle a lot with a similar issue. Because of the nature of the addiction it may not be mortal sin, as the previous response indicated. Still keep going to confession though, even if it is the same priest. Just because a sin isn’t mortal doesn’t mean you should avoid or delay confession, especially for something like this. If the priest is hinting that you shouldn’t keep coming to confession so often, maybe try to find another priest (although I realize from your post this may be difficult)
Praying for you
God Bless
PM me if you want to discuss more privately, we may be able to help each other out


My two bits of advice are:

  1. get rid of the computer (for a few months, at least); and
  2. begin regular eucharistic adoration, perhaps for the same amount of time daily that you would have been on the computer.

Also, recall that in your act of contrition (or at least in mine) you state your intention to avoid the near occasion of sin - this you must try to do. You may take some consolation from the following teachings of the Church as revealed in the Catechism, particularly Paragraphs 2342 and 2343:

2338* The chaste person maintains the integrity of the powers of life and love placed in him. This integrity ensures the unity of the person; it is opposed to any behavior that would impair it. It tolerates neither a double life nor duplicity in speech.125 *
2339* Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom. The alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy.126 "Man’s dignity therefore requires him to act out of conscious and free choice, as moved and drawn in a personal way from within, and not by blind impulses in himself or by mere external constraint. Man gains such dignity when, ridding himself of all slavery to the passions, he presses forward to his goal by freely choosing what is good and, by his diligence and skill, effectively secures for himself the means suited to this end."127 *
2340* Whoever wants to remain faithful to his baptismal promises and resist temptations will want to adopt the means for doing so: self-knowledge, practice of an ascesis adapted to the situations that confront him, obedience to God’s commandments, exercise of the moral virtues, and fidelity to prayer. "Indeed it is through chastity that we are gathered together and led back to the unity from which we were fragmented into multiplicity."128 *
2341* The virtue of chastity comes under the cardinal virtue of temperance, which seeks to permeate the passions and appetites of the senses with reason. *
2342*** Self-mastery is a long and exacting work******. One can never consider it acquired once and for all. It presupposes renewed effort at all stages of life.129 The effort required can be more intense in certain periods, such as when the personality is being formed during childhood and adolescence.
Chastity has laws of growth which progress through stages marked by imperfection and too often by sin.
"Man . . . day by day builds himself up through his many free decisions; and so he knows, loves, and accomplishes moral good by stages of growth."130
Chastity represents an eminently personal task; it also involves a cultural effort, for there is "an interdependence between personal betterment and the improvement of society."131 Chastity presupposes respect for the rights of the person, in particular the right to receive information and an education that respect the moral and spiritual dimensions of human life. *
2345* Chastity is a moral virtue. It is also a gift from God, a grace, a fruit of spiritual effort.132 The Holy Spirit enables one whom the water of Baptism has regenerated to imitate the purity of Christ.133 *



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