Confused. Did I commit mortal sin?


#1

Sin and the different types are still very confusing to me. I just became part of the Church last saturday night.

Anyways I have a few questions. First I know lying is a sin, but would this be mortal? Im an adult who lives with my parents for the time being. My mom asked me a question and well i lied and shrugged and said I didnt know. Its actually something very stupid to lie about.

Next question regards gossip. I recently learned of a website through work that posts stiff regarding how and why doctors get suspended in my state. If i was discussing that with my coworkers is that considered slander?


#2

I would say the answer is “No” in both cases.


#3

All sin is evil. Lying to your mother is really a bad thing to do. In itself what you did is not a mortal sin. You should question yourself though about lying. If it is something you do all the time, maybe habitually, you could have a serious moral problem. It would be keeping you from knowing holiness as God wills for you. If we take the attitude that venial sins are petty and not important we will never experience the transformation in grace God intends for us.

Slander is lying about a particular person with the intent of hurting or destroying their reputation. It is always evil.

Detraction is saying something truthful about a particular person with the malicious intent of destroying or harming the person’s reputation. It is always evil.

Suppose you know your neighbor is an alcoholic and saw him drunk and falling down. You also know his drivers license is suspended for drinking. Also suppose you do not like him. If you tell all the neighborhood about what you saw and know so other people will think poorly of the neighbor this is detraction. But if you saw him get in his car staggering drunk with four children and speed away it is not sinful to call the police, or tell the other neighbors to be careful that their children do not ride with him.

In both cases you are telling the truth, but the motive is different. We have a duty to protect the reputation of others. We have a greater duty to protect the health and safety of the community.


#4

If you didn’t know something was mortal at the time it was committed, I say it fails the “full knowledge” criteria especially in this case.

Your learning about lying and gossip (an overlooked sin I might add) cannot change past sins into mortals just like that.


#5

All sin is evil. Lying to your mother is really a bad thing to do. In itself what you did is not a mortal sin. You should question yourself though about lying. If it is something you do all the time, maybe habitually, you could have a serious moral problem. It would be keeping you from knowing holiness as God wills for you. If we take the attitude that venial sins are petty and not important we will never experience the transformation in grace God intends for us.

:hmm:

Sometimes when people say “I don’t know” they just don’t want to answer to the question or are busy and don’t want to be bothered. It sounds like the original author didn’t have the kind of malice you are targeting.

Important points on reflections, though. :thumbsup:


#6

Hello Leslie.

I’m saddened by your question. I’d like to ask what Sacraments you received on Saturday?

If you went through a period of instruction in the RCIA program, you should’ve been prepared to live out this thing called Catholicism thoroughly. That means whatever Sacraments you lacked you should have been prepared for as well as being able to live a Catholic life. That means the facts about the 10 Commandments, the 6 Precepts of the Church, what is the difference between mortal and venial sins, a rudimentary instruction on how to make an Examination of Conscience, and how to make a good Confession. Both your RCIA instructor and your Sponsor for your Sacraments were remiss if you are still unaware of the difference between mortal and venial sins. This is in no way your fault, however, now that you ARE Catholic, it is your responsibility to learn all you need to know to live a Catholic life and that includes the rules of the road regarding Marriage, contraception and divorce and life issues regarding raising your children Catholic. You are now the one responsible for your Sacramental life as a Catholic.

I’m also wondering why you’d need to come here to CAF to ask this question. Your RCIA Sponsor should’ve been the one you took all your questions to and you should’ve felt comfortable asking anything at all you need an answer to long ago in your period of instruction. In fact, I’m inclined to say that you need to let your new Pastor know how much you lacked instruction. He may not be aware of this situation. You should have all you answers long before you receive the Sacraments at the Vigil Mass.

Glenda

P.S. I’m an adult convert too and had to go through RCIA as well and no, I too didn’t receive the instructions I was supposed to, so don’t blame yourself at all.


#7

Hi Leslie!

Welcome home! You must be so excited to be in the faith!

The sins you mentioned are almost certainly not mortal. Since you’re new to the faith, it might take a little time to adjust and properly catechize yourself about the faith. Try to do what you can to study up more and gain a better understanding. Of course, a great way to do that is exactly what you’re doing - posting on CAF and getting your questions answered. But you should look into attending an adult education class at your parish or perhaps taking classes online to help you better understand. Another great way to learn is to teach CCD.

Hope that helps! Again, welcome home! :thumbsup:


#8

Lying is something that can be either grave matter (such as for example lying under oath in court) for venial matter - lying that you like that persons new hat. Both to be avoided of course -but very different.

Gossip - or rather detraction – too can be either grave matter (a person is say a secret homosexual and one does not have a good reason to tell the other person) or venial matter.

Both are covered here in the CCC scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a8.htm

Here is an excerpt:

2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury.278 He becomes guilty:

  • of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;

  • of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them;279

  • of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.


(when I say “grave matter” I mean grave matter for mortal sin - see section in CCC too on mortal and venial sin: scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c1a8.htm#IV)


#9

To glendab: I recieved Baptism, Confirmation and first Holy Communion. Yes, we did recieve basic instruction on the 10 commandments, the precepts of the Church along with a short instruction on the examination of conscience, how to make a good confession, and the difference between mortal and venial sin. However sin whether mortal or venial has confused me from the get go. I still actually lump them all in the same catagory, which is sin and I know all sin is bad. To answer another question you had: I post on here because I have really bad anxiety issues when I ask questions face to face and to people I know. The internet for me helps me get over that somewhat, but it still causes a lot of anxiety.

I know I still have a lot to learn regarding sin and the ten commandments. I am trying and I ask Him each and every day for help. For some reason I am processing this slower than other things. I will be reflecting on all the responses given here.

Thank you for all the responses, even if some of them were hard to hear.


#10

Compendium issued by Pope Benedict XVI

395. When does one commit a mortal sin?

1855-1861
1874

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?**

1862-1864
1875

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.

vatican.va/archive/compendium_ccc/documents/archive_2005_compendium-ccc_en.html


#11

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