Is attempting a mortal sin?


is attempting a mortal sin??

an example: I needed money, I went to my brother room with the full intention to look for money in his wallet while he was showering, I grabbed the money but as I was looking at the money i reflected and repented and put the money back and walked away. Is that consider a Mortal SIN?

Example 2: I try killing my neighbor dog for barking all night, grabbed a bat and went with the full intention of killing it, as I was about to do it, I repented and walked away. Is that MORTAL SIN?

none of this example did happen, just want to know if ATTEMPTING is consider mortal sin.



Without making a judgement here, I noticed in each case you “repented.” Why do you feel you didn’t sin (not saying you did) if you “repented”?


Yes, intending to do something can be sinful. If you made a firm act of the will, a firm decision, to commit the sinful act, it could be mortal - depending on the gravity of the matter. That being said, it is not the *same *sin, necessarily, as carrying out the actual act. If you had carried out the actual act, in addition to intending to do so, you would have compounded your sin. Is stealing from your brother’s wallet grave matter? That would depend on many factors…how much were you going to steal? How badly would the loss hurt your brother? Killing your neighbour’s dog would almost certainly be grave matter.

Our Lord says in the Gospel that it is “adultery” to even lust after a woman in your heart. Thus, if I lust after the woman next door, and fantasize about sleeping with her, but don’t actually go through with it, I have still committed a sin. It would be another, graver sin to go through with the act - but the intention, the fantasizing is a sin as well.

On the other hand, if the idea simply occurs to you, and you reject it immediately, that is simply a temptation. If you latch onto the idea for a moment, it is probably only a venial sin. If you entertain the idea for a prolonged period, it can become mortal.


(Without getting into the examples offered or evaluating them)

Yes one can commit a mortal sin via ones choice to do something - where there is grave matter, full knowledge and deliberate consent - even if one does not carry it out.

Temptation though is another matter - being tempted to sin is different than consenting to sin.

Temptations can be strong and many can confuse being tempted to commit a mortal sin with committing a mortal sin.


Matthew 5:28
But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart.

  • As I add my post, there are two others, twf and bookcat, I agree with each post, in there entirety. I only post to add scriptural support.

  • You went with the intent to steal the money, you took the money, you knew it was wrong, you knew it was of a serious nature…

  • You went with the intent to cause harm to one of God’s creations out of anger, you knew it was wrong, you knew it was of a serious nature…

It is not my place to condemn these acts as mortal; however, from the example given by our Lord, in his own words, I fear for your soul. Please go to confession as soon as possible.


Such situations as you describe could possibly show that the full consent of the will was absent. It would at the very least be lesser than if you had full intent and were stopped by external circumstances. Or even a motive other than repentance, such as fear of being caught.


I think moral theologists agree that “full” consent doesn’t necessarily happen all at once. And then one can always rationalize his/her sin by saying “at that time I didn’t realize it was that bad back then but I do now.” I think the criteria should be “sufficient reflection and sufficient consent.” As the catechism uses the word “fuller” in some matters, one can get easily confused as to what “full” really means.

Anyway you cut it though, I think most will agree that confession is in order. It’s tough to judge yourself.


A sin can certainly be mortal even if the intended action is not carried out.

Suppose one man intends the murder of another. He spends time carefully planning how he will execute him, how he will provide himself an alibi, and how he will hide the evidence. The night he intends to commit the murder, he goes to the other man’s house–only to find him already dead from a heart attack.

Did he commit a grave sin? Yes, in the decision to murder.


It becomes more complicated when a co-conspirator is found to execute the crime, be it stealing, assault, etc. The other person goes ahead while you sit back. IMO, the crime was committed when it was planned.


Definitely. He might even have committed a graver sin than a man who murders in the heat of anger.


He definitely commited a graver sin than a man who murdered in the heat of anger…the man who murdered in the heat of anger might not have sufficiently reflected, and so there is a chance that he only commited a venial, rather than mortal, sin!


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