Full knowledge or not?


Amoris Laetitia is an apostolic exhortation. Such a document cannot change Church doctrine. The fact that this document allows the possibility of a divorced and remarried person (without an annulment) to receive Communion is a change to doctrine that someone in a state of mortal sin may not receive Communion and nor do I accept the convoluted and verbal gymnastics in the document that tries to say that such people might not be in a state of mortal sin. I do not accept this as a valid document from a teaching point of view.


One sin that is potentially grave is theft. Moralists have estimated that the amount involved in the theft is significant.

Catholic Encyclopedia

There is no doubt but that small pilferings perpetrated at different times, whether to the prejudice of one or of many owners, can eventually coalesce and reach a sum forbidden under pain of mortal sin.

One who hoards the proceeds of his petty thefts is chargeable with mortal sin when the sum accumulated is grave.

Hence where reputable moralists assign as absolutely grave matter, six dollars for Italy, eight for Belgium, and from seven to ten for England, it will not be deemed excessive to fix the amount for this country [US] as ranging from ten to fifteen dollars.

That was written in 1912 so applying an inflation factor: $10 in 1912 is $260 in 2019.

Delany, J. (1912). Theft. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14564b.htm


The conscience discussion in AL is widely misunderstood and overstated in the direction of license.
A person is responsible to follow conscience, and at the same time, a person is responsible for the continuing formation of conscience. And so making assumptions about one’s culpability with a “backward look” to inadequate formation does not invite a person to presumption.

If a person is seeking the truth, and is in formation or counseling with a priest, presumption for the sin under consideration is going to very hard to come by. The presumptive viewpoint almost assumes an exculpable helplessness against sin. And we are not helpless. By the grace of God we are called to repent and do the hard work of virtue and conversion.

Putting it succinctly, Christian conscience calls us forward in formation, not to stagnation and excuse. And Pope Francis is in no way proposing spiritual stagnation or the excusing of sin, or the turning of one’s head from difficult conversion, or to wallowing in ignorance.

The “discernment process with a priest” means the communicant should no longer be committing adultery based on that discernment, not that the priest says “it’s ok, you are excused because your conscience says so”.


Scrupulous alert.

30 posts already for an admitted scrupulous poster.

Just the kind of thing we are not supposed to do.

Do not engage further for the poster’s own well being. Steer him or her to his or her confessor.


I guess I am in good company then because it’s the single issue that has many clergy up to Cardinals disagreeing with it!!

For the sake of debate answer me this. I am married. If I got divorced and remarried without an annulment and I know that this is adultery according to Church teachings how could I possibly not be in a state of mortal sin??


Please answer my question:

For the sake of debate answer me this. I am married. If I got divorced and remarried without an annulment and I know that this is adultery according to Church teachings how could I possibly not be in a state of mortal sin??

Also bear this in mind:

Matt 5:27-28

27 "You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’

28 But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.


Neither he nor you answered it. I want you to answer it or are you only able to cut and paste.

Open mind?? I do not believe any Catholics do not know that divorce, remarriage without an annulment is adultery. Playing around with words and saying well the local priest can decide is simply a way to try appease the many people in this situation to try to keep them from walking away from the Church.

If you commit adultery you commit a mortal sin and it’s that simple. Being remarried for 30 years does not change that.
By the way there is nothing I would like more if it was CLEAR that remarried people having normal marriage relations were not in a state of mortal sin and could receive Communion because my wife and I are in that situation. If even the clergy cannot agree on what the Pope means what chance the lay people.
My wife and I are in our second marriage. Her ex husband is dead while mine is alive but I could not get an annulment. We have been re-married for nearly 38 years and we live a life of continence according to Church teachings. That’s why we are able to receive Communion. Now it seems the Pope is saying there wasn’t much point in doing that after all.


You do realize…that was kinda my point?


If you know some action is wrong, what difference does it make if you don’t know why it is wrong or not? I mean why is black not white? If you know some action is wrong and thus a sin and evil, than we know immediately we ought not do the action whether or not we know the action could be potentially mortally sinful or only venially so. The first principle of the natural law is ‘do and pursue good and avoid evil’ and God doesn’t command us to sin but rather to not sin and avoid evil.

For a catholic whose faith is founded on divine revelation, it is enough that we know that some action is gravely or mortally sinful in its object on the authority of God revealing who cannot error regardless of the why of it. It is simply our duty to obey and do God’s will wherein the perfection of the christian life consists. For the perfection of the christian life in this life here on earth consists essentially in charity or love of God and our neighbor which is in the will for love is an act of the will. The theological virtue of faith pertains to the knowledge God has revealed about himself and about what we must do and avoid such as in the ten commandments and to unite our wills to His in charity. But, faith is not a ‘perfect’ knowledge of God in this life and it will give way to sight in heaven where we will see God face to face. So, here on earth we walk by faith and not by sight. We can grow in our knowledge of God by studying the faith and in prayerful reading of Holy Scripture.

The Church teaches that "mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent (CCC#1857)…Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments…It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act ( CCC#1857-1859). The CCC tells us, though not exhaustively, which human actions constitute grave matter in their object such as murder, adultery, fornication, contraception, etc. Accordingly, if a person knows, for example, adultery is a sin as well as knowing adultery constitutes grave matter in its object or in itself, intrinsically evil, as the CCC teaches, than such knowledge in my understanding satisfies the ‘full knowledge’ aspect of mortal sin. The only other aspect to consider is deliberate or complete (full) consent.

Perfect and certain knowledge of ‘why’ adultery is objectively a mortal sin is simply founded on the authority of God telling us by revelation. Of course, with the natural light of human reason we can provide arguments why adultery is wrong as it is against the natural law. God is both the author of the natural law and divinely revealed law such as the Ten Commandments God revealed to the Israelites through Moses. But, the Divine Reason or divine revelation is more certain than human reason which can error concerning precisely what the natural law specifies which is why God revealed his law and commandments to us so that all men might know with certainty God’s will for us concerning moral acts and our destiny.


The inherent values are the objective moral standards which are knowledge, whereas the situational lack of freedom effects voluntariness. So there can be two factors to consider.

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