Doubt as a Sin


I did a precursory search on google to see if there were any other threads about doubt on Catholic Answers forums, and there were, only they said involuntary doubt wasn’t a sin. This is not what the catechism says:

2088 The first commandment requires us to nourish and protect our faith with prudence and vigilance, and to reject everything that is opposed to it. There are various ways of sinning against faith:

Voluntary doubt about the faith disregards or refuses to hold as true what God has revealed and the Church proposes for belief. Involuntary doubt refers to hesitation in believing, difficulty in overcoming objections connected with the faith, or also anxiety aroused by its obscurity. If deliberately cultivated doubt can lead to spiritual blindness.

Involuntary doubt is a way to “sin against faith.” Now, this bothers me. First of all, it sounds like the Catholic Church is teaching we should believe without caution–but what about that Bible verse that says “test everything; hold fast to what is good” (1 Thes. 5.21)? It is referring to “prophecies” specifically, but some of those prophecies might be God’s revelation or something the Church proposes for belief, moral or intellectual. What’s going on here?

Is involuntary doubt a sin or not?


“Test everything” refers to not to Divine Revelation -that we know is --well from God. The Church proclaims Divine Revelation to all – bringing light to men.

It refers to other things – to what one could call “private” prophecies…

As to involuntary doubt --remember all sorts of thoughts or temptations can happen to one --just because a thought “happens” to one does not mean one has sinned (without consenting to such). “Involuntary” means that it happens against your will - consent requires the will. So a temptation can occur to one-- some “involuntary doubt” can accost one- that one does not consent to–that one does not want… Such is a temptation not a sin.


Short answer: we can doubt everything that is not a dogma. actually there are many cases were we should remain skeptical or at least somewhat skeptical, until the Church speaks or in certain cases a good spiritual Guide helps us.


Surely natural doubt is the response of a rational mind to those teachings that were so hard that many walked no more with Christ. Does not a rational mind rebel at the awesome reality of the Eucharist? Does not doubt glorify faith?
Is this not why Paul demands that we have reasons for the faith that is within us?
Is not doubt the very rational for all Apologetics?
I don’t believe involuntary doubt is a sin. Where is the intention?
Is not doubt an invitational tool of theological research?
Mindless faith is a seed sown in shallow ground.


Short answer: no that is not quite the case…though yes we are not to doubt dogma.

(There are different kinds of teaching …but that does not mean the above is the case)

(but this is no the thread to get into all this anyhow…)


If you doubt something of Church teaching you should search out why the Church teaches it, often I find the document heavily reference other ones so you can see where it is coming from.


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