Is cussing a venial or mortal sin?

I have heard from different people with different opinions on whether cussing is a sin or not,my parish priest said it is but when I asked him whether it’s venial or mortal he didn’t clarify and I want to make sure I’m not being scrupulous.Regardless if it’s venial or mortal I AM making the resolution to stop but I dont like not knowing that when I drop something and blurt our the s word that now I’m mortal sin or not.pls help

It is most certainly not a genial sin.

If it involves taking the Lord’s name in vain, it can be a mortal sin with full knowledge and intent. Otherwise, light profanity is probably not too serious. Venial at worst. There is little in the Catechism about it. Be at peace.

Define “cussing”.

Do you mean using profane or coarse language or do you mean using the Lord’s name as a figure of speech or something else?

I view it as a venial sin. It’s usually more exclamatory and not thought out.


I’ve been taught that there are demons who specialize in tempting folks to curse.

Alright so yesterday I was eating with my family and when the food slipped out of my hand into a bowl of soup I very quietly said sh*t and I thought to myself is this a mortal sin?thats what I meant not taking our Lord’s name in vain.

That is crude language.

It is impolite, it may offend others, unless you are saying it with the intent to cause someone else pain I cannot see it as sinful.


It depends on what kind of language you are using, what the circumstances are, what your intent is…etc.

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This is important distinction. Using profane or coarse language without using the Lord’s name in vain isn’t a problem. The problem is using the Lord’s name in vain.

My rule when raising my kiddo was not to say his name unless she was praising him or talking to him. There were some other rules about word choice, but the only one that’s sinful is using His name in vain.

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I agree with TheLittleLady…while it may be crude language, there’s nothing sinful about it.

Only thing I thought of, if our poster is not yet an adult and parents have a “no profanity” rule, the disobedience would be something to work on.

Like someone said, you need to define what you mean by cussing.

Are you merely talking about human excrement here?

Or is it saying “God” in a flippant way when you slip on a banana peel?

Different words have different meanings. Not all cuss words are made equal. And some aren’t even sins. Just impolite. [Although they could be sins if used to cause scandal]

Cussing, without using the Lord’s name in vain is not any more sinful than how you use any language. It makes no difference if you yell the s word or say feces real loud.

I would say that in addition to taking the Lord’s name in vain (or some other sacred name like Holy Mother Mary’s), cussing could also be a sin if you are cussing someone out, such as “that (bleep)ing idiot, d+++ him to h+++” because you are being uncharitable towards your neighbor.

If you’re just using words for bodily functions casually or as exclamations when you spill something etc., then it’s crude language, possibly a bad social habit depending on who you are spending time around, but not sinful assuming you’re not doing it on purpose to upset others.

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