Figuring out if I viewed porn or not

First, let me tell you guys that I’m scrupulous, so that’ll explain some things.
I was on this website and across my Dash I see that one of the artists I favorited posted a new drawing. It states that it’s “Adult” rated, so I don’t view it for that reason. Later on when I visit the same page I go to see if it’s been replaced or moved down on the list of new things on my feed. Now, I should let you know that there was a preview image of the drawing (it showed the facial expression of the character, not the complete thing), so after looking at it I felt like I did something wrong. I wasn’t intending to look at it with lust, and the worry started only after I had looked at it. This shouldn’t be anything to worry about, should it?

P.S. Can someone clarify whether intent is the important thing when it comes to this sort of stuff?

I think you’re okay in this instance. You didn’t go to it with the intent of looking at porn, and you didn’t try to do anything with it either. You left it alone.

If you are not already doing this, I would encourage you to speak to a priest about your scrupulosity.

Yeah. I should probably schedule a regular meet-up. Thanks for your concern.

For it to be a mortal sin you must three things
Consent or freewill
Full knowledge or knowing what you are doing is wrong
Full consent you are doing this of your own will

From what you say it doesn’t sound like it meets these categories but only you truly know

Scrupulosity can be very spiritually draining. Having a priest you can talk to regularly is very helpful in working through all these types of thoughts that keep popping up.

You are fine. Intent is important, and by what you have said, intent to view porn was not what was going on.

I one time was looking for information on being a consecrated virgin. I mistyped consecrated by one letter and boy did I get a shock. I was so shocked at first that I just sat there staring at my screen with my jaw dropped. I even started to scroll down the page because my mind would simply not compute what I was looking at.

All I could think was I was looking for something very holy and landed up looking at porn for about two minutes. Finally the shock wore off, I closed the internet totally and than sat there for a few minutes. I then realized what must have happened and went back to my original search.

There was no sin here, as I had no intent of getting the page I did get, and my starring was just plain involuntary and done out of disbelief. Hope that helps. Sometimes things just come our way, and the best we can do is “drop” things once the shock wears off.

It could depend on the circumstances – I’d talk to a priest if you aren’t sure. If I thought I was just going to see a cool image and not anything lust-triggering, it would be an accident and not a sin.

On the other hand, if I clicked on a link because I thought I would see a woman I could lust after, I would think the fact that I was looking for an opportunity to lust after someone would already be a sin, regardless of what the woman turned out to be wearing (or not wearing). Or, if I clicked on a link knowing that there was pornography on the site and that there was a good chance I’d see it and be tempted to lust, I could be culpable.

It would also depend how I responded once the image opened up and I saw what it was. If I closed the image right away, almost certainly there would have been no sin. If, seeing that it was pornographic, I made a conscious choice to continue looking at it, that would be a different story. Even then, your culpability could be mitigated by a variety of factors.

I only raise the above possibilities because, as a former pornography-addict, I remember ways I would sometimes set myself up for failure, and then tell myself that I hadn’t MEANT to look at such-and-such. But that may not be what happened with at all – only you know the full context. If you think you may have done something wrong, talk to a priest.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.