Gluttony sins

Are the sins of gluttony venial or mortal?

It depends on the seriousness of the gluttony. Is it the kind of gluttony where one is placing their life in jeopardy (maybe a diabetic who must avoid certain kinds of foods – and even then, one could make the argument that a single failure isn’t going to have a grave enough impact to be considered mortal sin)? Is it the kind of gluttony that leads to drunkenness?

Like all of the capital sins, there are both venial and mortal ways in which one can fail.

I would say over-indulging is venial, but gluttony is mortal. Gluttony is an extreme thing.
Compulsive eating is a disorder though.

Gluttony covers both venial and mortal…

Reason, the virtue of temperance, and good judgement of conscience can guide one in ones eating. Though it is to be noted that what is contrary to temperance for one is not for another and as at least one Saint reminds us–this is a area that is a difficult one where many struggle.

Also note that often one is dealing with venial sin --not serious (an example of serious gluttony is loosing ones reason via being drunk…). It is important to note this for some get confused on this subject.

We should seek to live by virtue here and to eat reasonably…

Individual acts of overeating…intemperance (gluttony in this sense) are ordinarily a “venial matter” for venial sin…

(Now certain uncorrected habits that cause at least in the short term -serious problems -can become grave…like perhaps your doctor tells you if you keep eating 7 pieces of cake a day you will seriously harm your health or drop dead in three months…)

A confessor can assist one.


Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will’s mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable. The temperate person directs the sensitive appetites toward what is good and maintains a healthy discretion"

I guess I’m a dummy then.



This asserts that the 7 deadly sins are indeed mortal. Which is where I was coming from.

The term “deadly” --often confuses persons.

Such is simply not the case that the deadly sins/capital sins = only grave matter.

For example --the chief of them is Pride. Pride yes can be grave matter --like a person says I do not need God. But often in the life of say a Christian it is venial matter (sinning in pride in other ways…)

Anger can be grave matter – like for example --when one is deliberately angry -seeking to say seriously harm someone.

Or seriously wounding charity or justice…

But often it can be venial in life. One gets a little angry that something did not go the way one wanted…etc

or take gluttony as is the subject here – individual acts of such by way of intemperance are often venial in nature (see post above).

Though for example one can have grave matter --for example getting drunk where one looses ones reason…etc.

So no it is not a simple: Deadly sins -Capital sins = grave matter.

(though let me note that lust is in a particular category – it is not like there can be venial matter in a person lusting after some person they see or are dating or in committing fornication or adultery etc…but anyhow this is off topic)

A better term is “capital sins”. They are called Capital cause they are the “head” capitus of many other sins that they engender…(and deadly cause yes the seven can be deadly…)

But the term used more so today is capital sins.


1866 Vices can be classified according to the virtues they oppose, or also be linked to the capital sins which Christian experience has distinguished, following St. John Cassian and St. Gregory the Great. They are called “capital” because they engender other sins, other vices. They are pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth or acedia.

  1. What are vices?


Vices are the opposite of virtues. They are perverse habits which darken the conscience and incline one to evil. The vices can be linked to the seven, so-called, capital sins which are: pride, avarice, envy, anger, lust, gluttony, and sloth or acedia.…um-ccc_en.html

sigh. Yes I know all that…
Did you read the link?
Perhaps this is why people are confused.
The link clearly states that these sins are mortal, removing all sanctifying grace.

Yes that would confuse…as I noted many are confused on the subject and that link does not help disabuse them of their confusion.

Can be either.

Modern Catholic Dictionary:

GLUTTONY. Inordinate desire for the pleasure connected with food or drink. This desire may become sinful in various ways: by eating or drinking far more than a person needs to maintain bodily strength; by glutting one’s taste for certain kinds of food with known detriment to health; by indulging the appetite for exquisite food or drink, especially when these are beyond one’s ability to afford a luxurious diet; by eating or drinking too avidly, i.e., ravenously; by consuming alcoholic beverages to the point of losing full control of one’s reasoning powers. Intoxication that ends in complete loss of reason is a mortal sin if brought on without justification, e.g., for medical reasons. (Etym. Latin glutire, to devour.)

There are five ways we can succumb to and commit the sin of gluttony.

*]Time: Eating at the wrong times without good reason such as medical need. Snatching pieces of food during preparation instead of waiting to sit down for the meal, getting up in the middle of the night to eat, etc.
*]**Quality: **Demanding the finest cuts of meat, highest quality produce, etc. Not being satisfied with lower quality foods. This is the person who refuses to eat a banana because it has a brown spot.
*]Stimulants: Requiring spices and rich sauces to satisfy the palate. Not being satisfied with simply prepared foods. This doesn’t mean that you can’t go out for a gourmet meal on occasion but that you should be satisfied with plain oatmeal for example, and receive simple food with gratitude.
*]Quantity:: Eating more than required for good health.
*]Eagerness: Too anxious to eat, not patiently waiting to eat, eating too fast.

Any of these can be moral if we know it is wrong and have the ability to control ourselves but do it anyway. For most these are not extremely grave matters but done habitually, they lead us away from the virtues of patience, temperance and humility.


Holy cow! If I went by this I might as well set up tent in hell! :eek:

That is way too strict and could cause the scrupulous to fall into despair.

I was told that gluttony is usually Venial unless you make yourself ill (you eat so much you feel like you’ll throw up or do throw up) or loose your senses (getting drunk) or it causes harm too others (driving while buzzed or drunk…stealing food from children or the poor, etc.)


No I would not say that.


Bookcat - I agree with this and your previous post as they align with talks given at a retreat I took given by a priest. One can explore the *level *of sin during confession with guidance from the confessor.


Do not despair - sometimes common sense and one’s conscience is best.

With the possible exception of quantity none of the others listed are a sin of any kind.

From St Anthony of Padua’s Moral Concordance.

Of Gluttony

Against gluttony and drunkenness, in common.

Of temperance, or sobriety.

Against those who provoke to excessive eating and drinking.

I would think so. If your doctor tells you to lose weight or cut out drinking altogether, then even “moderation” may be a serious matter which one needs to avoid.

I was just going to say this :-o… if consciously snatching food during preparation was a mortal sin, I think I would be in trouble… ;-//// This actually IS something I am working on, though :wink: trying to get better. Really doubt it is even near any kind of mortal sin though, especially if we are talking about really simple foods as bread and fruit… more like a bad habit I am trying to break I thought…:blush: hope I am right!!!


p.s. I do nt want to make a judgment mortal-venial, because situations and reasons for actions as well as awareness doffer so much from case to case - but as a serious example of gluttony I would say somebody who keeps eating and can’t get enough right in front of somebody else who is hungry, and not wanting to share anything, even if already more than fulll… ?

Yeah, gluttony’s only mortal if it causes grave harm, as mentioned before…the mentioned example above would, in my opinion, be “gray,” but I personally believe that it would onlly be mortal depending on the amount of hunger the person has; if he is a little hungry, versus starving, etc.

Don’t get scrupulous about gluttony, because trust me, there are those who do, and their life is :banghead::banghead:

Overeating pizza would not be serious matter, unless your body will be seriously harmed bc you ate a 15 slices in one sitting in 3 minutes…



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