Hedonism, caused by secularism, is dominant, and this all has infiltrated the church. The reason is it’s accepted my many, perhaps most, and not seen as sin. The results are endless. Greed, materialism, abortion…
What does our faith tell us about Christians who believe they are Christians but unaware and thus unable to turn from these sins? Does God understand and forgive their errors without repentance even if professed Christians?
In order to be “unaware”, then you either have to be
unaware you’re doing something or
aware that you’re doing it but unaware it’s a sin.
Example of 1) would be if you were at the store and some candy fell off the shelf into your bag and you didn’t notice it was there and left the store with it. No sin because you didn’t know you took something without paying.
Example of 2) would be if you saw a display of candy and took some without paying because you thought it was free samples.
In your example of the 4-year-old, if the kid didn’t realize that things from the store had to be paid for, then it’s a 2) - he intended to take some candy but it’s not a sin because he didn’t realize he had to pay for the candy.
If he knew candy had to be paid for but he took some anyway and hid it in his pocket, then it IS a sin but he has reduced culpability because he’s below the age of reason.
Bottom line is that you have to reasonably know you’re breaking a rule in order to have committed a sin. Therefore you can’t “sin unaware”.
In my example the kid doesn’t sin because he doesn’t know better. But isn’t stealing still stealing? So the action is a sin but the kid is not culpable for it.
Maybe better example:
If 4 year old kid is playing with his parents gun and by accident shoots the father and he dies, the kid did not commit a sin, it was by accident and the kid didn’t know better. But isn’t the action of murder itself still a sinful act. The fact that the kid isn’t culpable doesn’t change if the act is sinful.
Obviously though, this is theoretical situation and it doesn’t really matter lol
1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man "takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin."59 In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits.
1792 Ignorance of Christ and his Gospel, bad example given by others, enslavement to one’s passions, assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, rejection of the Church’s authority and her teaching, lack of conversion and of charity: these can be at the source of errors of judgment in moral conduct.
1793 If - on the contrary - the ignorance is invincible, or the moral subject is not responsible for his erroneous judgment, the evil committed by the person cannot be imputed to him. It remains no less an evil, a privation, a disorder. One must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience. If - on the contrary - the ignorance is invincible, or the moral subject is not responsible for his erroneous judgment, the evil committed by the person cannot be imputed to him. It remains no less an evil, a privation, a disorder. One must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience.
Hedonism is rife in Western societies and many , probably most , Christians are sucked into it .
True , many go along with the present culture unaware of how contrary this is to the Gospel .
This Christmas in his homily, Pope Francis said the birth of Christ pointed to a new way to live “not by devouring and hoarding, but by sharing and giving”.
He continued: "Let us ask ourselves: Do I really need all these material objects and complicated recipes for living? Can I manage without all these unnecessary extras and live a life of greater simplicity?
“For many people, life’s meaning is found in possessing, in having an excess of material objects. An insatiable greed marks all human history, even today, when, paradoxically, a few dine luxuriantly while all too many go without the daily bread needed to survive.”
The big problem is that the teaching of the Holy Father does not get passed down to the grass roots .
If any should worry about these unaware sins it is the clerics who are supposed to preach to us the full Gospel .