Did I gossip (mortal sin)?

I am a little scrupulous, but anyway…

I have a coworker who likes to discuss what the other one is doing. As I’m listening, I was consciously thinking- OK do not gossip here, it’s a sin. I have been roped in a few times in the past.

So, as I’m listening I responded by trying to honestly explain the person’s motives in terms of work objectives. I also tried to be comparative in order to say different people have different styles. I also indicated my own style is the opposite of the person in question.

Long story short, I didn’t say anything bad about the person. However, I didn’t say anything good either. I don’t agree with the person’s approach, but I do not think the person is being malicious.

Did I commit a mortal sin ?

No, not “but anyway”. When you are scrupulous, you need to discuss your thoughts with your pastor, not strangers on the internet. You need help in forming your conscience in a consistent manner.

What part of this do you think was gossip? Maybe you don’t have a good definition of gossip. What do you think gossip is?

Why do you think what you did is a sin?

PLEASE talk to your pastor. People on the internet cannot tell you if you committed a sin or not.

Well, my understanding is that it depends on intent, which can be mixed, and whether or not someone’s reputation was damaged.

I did speak to a priest about this particular topic in the past, but it’s not black and white.

I am just looking for another angle.

Perhaps in the future I will just decline to participate in the conversation, but I am still looking for helpful insight.

It doesn’t seem like any detraction took place. You were just discussing with your co-worker how another person works. If you aren’t damaging a person’s reputation, then it isn’t detraction. Gossip is a mortal sin when the damage done to the person’s reputation is huge. It seems, from the scenario you described, that any damage that might have been done would have been far from huge. A regular confessor can help you best in dealing with situations like this.

Another thing to consider is:
“Do you TRUST in your confessor?”
I had a confessor who made light of
my scrupulosity about delivery pizza,
which my conscience tells me it a
a mortal sin and he refused to give
absolution “b/c it is not a sin”!!

Not a mortal sin, probably not a sin at all.
By explaining that she has a different work style you were in a way defending her.

Please find a good, holy priest and try to confess to just him on a regular basis. Scrupulous people need guidance from the same priest each time ideally. Obey him. If you don’t agree with him, he will explain things to you in greater detail.
God bless you.

I can’t tell if you are making fun of scruples or really need assistance?


Three conditions are necessary for mortal sin to exist:

Grave Matter: The act itself is intrinsically evil and immoral. For example, murder, rape, incest, perjury, adultery, and so on are grave matter.

Full Knowledge: The person must know that what they’re doing or planning to do is evil and immoral. For example, someone steals a postage stamp, thinking that it’s only worth 50 cents. She knows that it’s sinful, but if she’s unaware that the stamp is rare and actually worth a $1,000, she’s not guilty of mortal sin but of venial sin.

Deliberate Consent: The person must freely choose to commit the act or plan to do it. Someone forced against her will doesn’t commit a mortal sin. For example, a woman told she’s giving a minor shock to another person who in fact is administering tortuous electrical jolts is not guilty of a mortal sin (although she may feel guilty if she finds out the truth).

If any of these conditions are not met, then it is probably a venial sin (or possibly not even a sin at all, said someone in times past).

Thanks everyone :slight_smile:

The only problem I see is that the co-worker keeps talking. You are listening and responding as politely as you can, but this apparently is encouraging him/her to continue. You might look for a way to end the conversation.

I know this is difficult. I myself have often felt obligated to listen and respond politely to someone who keeps talking no matter what I say or do. Afterwards I realize that I have been used. I have been a victim and a fool… but that’s another story.

Perhaps you (and I, when the occasion next arises) should be a little more forceful. You could tell the co-worker that you do not wish to hear such talk. You could suggest that if he really wants to be helpful, he should speak directly to the person about whom he is talking. Whatever approach you choose, be respectful but firm that you will not hear it any more.

If you have to ask, probably not.

Dear LethalMouse,
I posted that b/c some confessors are
frustrating, it seems like trying to paddle
upstream w/ them when sharing from
the heart, I was just informing the OP
about that, hoping it will help him/her
w/ his/her scrupulosity!!

Okay, I just sort of took the pizza thing as sarcasm… Sorry :frowning:

Good luck in your process :slight_smile:

Good point, thank you.

That’s alright, sometimes the Lord can
provide us w/ difficult confessors so
that we will learn to work w/ our
scrupulosity. I concluded the pizza
thing a venial sin and confided in a
trusted friend. See James 5:16

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