I was talking to a friend about bullying and in the news a lot of teenagers have taken their lives due to bullying. Schools teach that bullying is wrong and it goes to show that bullying can ruin a life or even worse take one. I went to a catholic school when I was 8-12 and the kids were terrible to anyone different. It was a predominantly Caucasian school as well as town so they’d pick on anyone who different really. In religion class when we learned about sin we never talked about bullying really being a sin eventhough it went on a lot in the school.
My friend argued that if the victim forgives the bully then its not considered a sin at all. I told her that the bully never asked for forgiveness from the person or God so how could they be forgiven by God without confessing that they did do wrong. Chances are they won’t admit it because of pride which would be another sin to add on top of the fact they emotionally hurt someone. I figured because bullying can effect self esteem or even cause serious depression which can both ruin a person emotionally it goes beyond venial sin into mortal sin.
The other thing is that not everyone admits to what they did. Sometimes when the person is down they torment them even further making things worse. My friend said sometimes people don’t know what they’re doing but I think that is a little absurd because even if you are only name calling your intention is to hurt the person or make them feel bad. In Mark 12:31 Jesus says “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Plus according to the catechism the 3 things that make a mortal sin a mortal sin is if it is a serious issue, its committed knowingly, and of its committed with full consent.
Is bullying considered a mortal sin or am I overoverreacting and my friend is right by saying as long as the victim forgives the bully they aren’t accountable for any kind of sin?