I am unsure if this is a mortal sin or not


I have a delema that I cannot get my head around.

Recently I was very bored and browsing reddit. I found a new option to view a random subreddit that would bring you to the website without letting you see what it is before hand. After a while I came across some “immoral” sites to say the least. I immediately closed them when I came across them, but I continued to search for more random sites for entertainments sake. I was not intentionally looking for more immoral material, but I continued to find a few more sites.

The thing is, I knew I was at risk of finding more immoral sites, but as soon as I did, I did my best to ignore them and move on. I feel guilty because although I was not intending to see it, it was almost like I was open to it, although as soon as it came up, I turned it down.

Did I commit a mortal sin?


Perhaps a near occasion of sin. Regardless, stay away from those sites! You might get a virus :skull_and_crossbones:


Would you consider it to be mortal?


No. At the very worst it was venial. “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the Internet!”


A mortal sin is when you knowingly take part in it knowing it is a sin and act on it.
Temptation is always around us.
Your situation is definitely temptation but you didn’t act on it to make it mortal.
Be careful though this can lead down a path that does lead to sin.


How should I go about confessing this? I do not want to explain it at length unnecessarily, but I also do not want to leave out any details that are important. I fear I would only confuse myself and the priest if I attempted to repeat what I said here. Is it enough to say “I led myself to the near occasion of sin by opening myself up to the possibility of pornographic material”?


From the evidence you’ve provided, it appears that you may suffer from scrupulosity (an excessive sensitivity toward sin) or at least have a tendency to it. Having gone through this experience myself, I can tell from what you have written that the main question you are asking is: “Did I give full consent or not?”

It is important to differentiate between thought and will. Matthew 15:11 states: “What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”

It is not what you think or what you see/hear, etc, that defiles you. It must be an act of the will that constitutes a mortal sin (basically, your reaction to the temptation). If I see a pornographic image, that in and of itself is not a sin. It is not sinful for my brain and my eyes to register what the image is, because that is simply the function of the brain and the eyes. However, I have two choices in regard to how my will responds. Either I can think, “I like these images, so I will stay here and feast or them,” or reject the images as sinful and simply walk away and remove myself from the situation.

While you may have allowed yourself to continue to be tempted by opening more sites, the fact that you “turned down” the immoral material proves that your will did not consent.

We are attacked by temptations every moment of the day. How our will responds determines whether or not we have sinned.

If this is all you would say in your confession, then confession is not necessary. Temptations aren’t sins. Even Jesus was temped (Matthew 4), but He never sinned.


So long as it was innocent curiosity, don’t worry.

If you had that tingle of curiosity, then that means something. It is not sin, but you wen’t looking for something risky and then once you found it you may have experienced something far greater than that tingle.

If you had that ‘tingle’ of which I speak, that was a ‘near occasion’ of sin. If you clicked random because of that, then it might have been a sin.

Yet, curiosity is something else. Curiosity is intellectual. If you clicked random because of interest and desire to learn, then it might not have been a sin.

It’s not your fault when something happens to you that is outside of your control. Clicking random on Reddit though opens yourself to that.

Clicking Random is not a sin though. Just use your moral guidance to know the difference between your deliberate actions and your unintentional results. Block the NSFW stuff, ban the impure.


I would say it is a temptation, maybe at most venial. You said that you had no intention of viewing more immoral sites so this eliminates the possibility of being a mortal sin. However, it sounds to me like you might have been committing the sin of idleness.


Honestly I was curious to see if there was more that would show up, but I avoided them when they did.


I think it was a temptation, you were tempted to look at more of the sites. I would recommend taking a break from your computer when you feel that feeling of temptation, which is hard, but nothing is impossible with God. If you were in idle for a while I think it would be the sin of idleness. While I believe I am correct, I suggest talking to your confessor about it just to give you that peace of mind :wink:

God bless you!


It was good you identified being tempted ,and now you must make sure you stop.Lesson learned
so to speak :slight_smile: God bless


God planted the sexual urge in living things purposefully.It is the most prominent natural instinct in humans and enjoying it’s pleasure is a reward given by God for helping him in creation.Being tempted to think about,see or hear sexually related matters and getting excited are all part of this and need not be viewed under a guilty conscience.I am not telling this for the persons who abstain from this natural urge,for serving God which will be better as St.Paul says.But for others enjoy it without any reservation.Only thing is that it should not come as block between you and God and it should not violate any of his commandments.


This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

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.