Is abortion a mortal sin?


I am a Third Degree member of the Knights of Columbus and a Eucharistic Minister to the sick and home bound.I also minster to the elderly shut-ins. I was a member of The League of Mary and am a member of the Italian Catholic Federation. I am also a mediator and arbitrator.
I have taken a close look at myself Mr. Thistle, and wish there were more hours in my day where I could do more.


You would think! But apparently not.


Let me start with your claim to be a Eucharistic Minister. You are NOT. Only the ordained can be a Eucharistic Minister. Lay people such as yourself are EMHC’s (Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion). An EMHC is NOT a Eucharistic Minister.

Next your claims that what Luther did forced the Church to admit errors and change doctrines. The Church has NEVER changed or admitted being in error with any DOCTRINES. Policies, laws, disciplines are NOT doctrines.
You still have not specified any DOCTRINE of the Church about which the Church admitted errors. You simply make vague comments about Luther. Be specific. What DOCTRINES of the Church were in error.

Then we have your claim that anyone who has an abortion can never get into Heaven. That is complete nonsense and is a rejection of Church doctrine that the only unforgivable sin is that of final impenitence.

You also claimed that a priest cannot absolve a penitent in Confession as this is only the Church forgiving and not God.
This is also a rejection of Church doctrine.

If you reject one or more infallible teaching you not only commit a mortal sin but you also commit heresy which is subject to excommunication (.Can. 1364)


Since women who contract for abortion are contracting for the murder of their child, should they be given life imprisonment for committing the crime of murder of a human being? Most Catholics oppose the death penalty even for murder, but will agree to life imprisonment for murder.


It’s a moot point because abortion is not murder in the eyes of the law.


But in the eyes of God, abortion is murder. The laws can be changed. Throughout history many laws have been changed. For one example, in the past, the buying and selling of slaves was not illegal in the eyes of the law in some places. That law has been changed. Should the law be changed so that someone who murders their unborn child is punished by long imprisonment or death ?


Sadly, the law is unlikely to ever be scrapped to make abortion illegal. I fear the laws will actually spread.


The reason there is so much focus on abortion and homosexual activity is because there is a relentless push by some within even the Catholic Church to trivialize the gravity of these sins. Nobody is trying to trivialize the gravity of murder, rape, armed robbery, etc.


Well …because he’s just been here a week, and hasn’t learned the ropes yet?


Your basic assumption is faulty. You are assuming that everyone in the world believes that human life begins at the moment the sperm unites with the egg. Therefore, you assume, anyone who ends a potential (or actual) pregnancy believes they are committing murder. Right?

But most of the people in the world, including a good number of Catholics, don’t believe that.


I agree we shouldn’t not lesson the gravity of these sins. But even on Catholic radio such as EWTN that I love to listen to, they sometimes dedicate a whole hour in talk radio against abortion. Evangelical radio stations do the same thing.

Yet they never dedicate an hour show on the evils of fornication, drunkenness, cheating, lying, adultry, etc…which we know Catholic and Evangelical church members do. I myself was guilty of some of these sins many years back.

I’m not saying either that we should stop our cry against abortion, there just need to be a balance by our ecclesiastical communities.


No. You can support policies that reduce the demand for abortions: support free health care, free pre-K child care, free after-school care, monthly payments for having children, etc. etc.

These all result in fewer abortions. Just look at the statistics of the other developed countries that have these policies (which somehow, “the richest nation in the world” can’t afford!).

It’s a very practical and proven way to reduce abortions. Put your money where your mouth is!


Ah Ha! Therein lies the problem! If a “good number” of Catholics would stop listening to “Progressives” (who hate established religion) and realize that CONCEPTION is the beginning of life and not birth (did you ever wonder when a pregnant woman is violently killed -the murderer is charged with TWO murders. You casually let Planned Parenthood perform partial birth abortions. When are you going to wake-up to God’s commandments?
What actually is “potential” pregnancy anyway? It seems that you are heading down the wrong road of life - I hope you wake-up before its too late.


You have no idea what you are saying! Socialism has never worked for any community or country. Sounds like you need more time reading the bible because what they taught you at school, as Martin Luther said - "will condemn you to hell.
I will not answer any more of your comments -you are simply wasting my valuable time.


The reason for the focus and headlines is simply because THERE IS SO MUCH OF IT spiritually killing our youth! You cannot state one single positive result of “progressive socialism” simply because it takes both religion and spiritually out of schools and people embrace similar philosophies as yours.


To the title question: is abortion a mortal sin? A solid “maybe.”

Paragraph 1735 of the Catechism gives a sample of reasons why a grave action may NOT be a mortal sin or even a venial sin.

If a woman is forced against her will to have an abortion, then she did not have free will to decide, for example. If she didn’t know it was “wrong” then ignorance is a factor against this being a mortal sin.

The Catechism is the “deposit of faith” so Catholics must believe this and accept it. I ha ve read the entire catechism a couple years ago and I don’t remember if anything was automatically called out as a mortal sin. Instead, the CCC does call things a grave action, which is only one of the conditions for a sin to be mortal.

One of the things in 1735 is “inadvertence” — so follow me on this – the other things on the list may include things that we knowingly and deliberately do, yet they may not be a mortal sin.

So, there’s a problem here. Who decides if it is a mortal sin, in the end? Fr. Riccardo of the Detroit area on EWTN radio sais that he cannot judge whether a sin is mortal, because of the complexity of para 1735. In the confessional, he is not qualified to look into anybody’s soul or even into the circumstances of a sin to tell if it is a mortal sin. The same would apply to a bishop or the pope, would it not. I conclude that it is up to a person examining their conscience to decide whether something is a mortal sin. If you “punt” and say just confess everything, well, OK, if you want to. But I think those words are in the CCC to help you decide, even though there’s not much guidance on how to make that decision.

There’s a TV priest that has given very narrow guidance on this para 1735, but I think it was misleading. I have written a letter to the US Conf of Cathoilic Bishops on how to understand 1735 and they did not reply. THAT’S why I say it’s up to you to seriously examine your conscience to decide for yourself – lacking further guidance from the clergy.

Hope this helps.


You are wrong though, any one of us at any time can end someones life at any moment. We have more power than you are willing to believe or let on. Though that what happens to us all is pre ordained, it is not something that God creates personally. I believe he set things in motion through the Big Bang which carried out into our present lives, check out some of Francis Collins work, it is interesting.


They hate established religion because of people like you that get on a megaphone and blast their beliefs and moral superiority into their face. I myself have only in the last few years been going to church more regularly and reengaging with Catholicism, but though I believe their to be a God, he cannot be found through an organized religion, he is found through your heart and soul. You and you’re personal beliefs have nothing to do with God.

I hope this is not taken in a harsh tone. Just explaining my point of view.


This is one of the smarter and more well informed comments I’ve seen on here. It’s a bigger issue than morality, it’s as much an economical decision as a moral one.


Please spare my your moral superiority tirade about how horrible abortion is. Even people who have had abortion’s realize and understand how painful it is. Some women actually have to make sacrifices in their lives, and must get an abortion because of some reason or another. I would call these women brave. It is ridiculous that we tell these women that they’re going to Hell which is completely counter intuitive to your so called “cause” of getting less women to have abortions. Economic steps must be taken to ensure that women and men feel safe about having kids and will be supported. It’s bigger than morality.

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