Is disobeying any (just) authority mortal sin?

I’m currently a senior in high school. A couple days ago, the juniors had testing so classes started late. My mom called the front office and was told that they wanted us to come in on time anyway where we would essentially mingle around in the gym, however, our class council told us attendance was not mandatory and would not be taken. As it turned out, they didn’t take attendance and didn’t seem to care that the vast majority of the senior class came in late (I know three people who showed up, out of a class of nearly 500). I used the time to go to Confession and daily Mass at a local Church, and considered confessing missing school for it, as it was disobedience to the school authorities, but didn’t. Now I’m worried that ignoring the word of the main office in favor of the class council was a mortal sin, in disobeying a just authority, and because I considered that possibility, but didn’t confess it, I messed up my Confession. Would disobedience in this context be mortal sin?

They gave you mixed signals about coming in on time. If you had skipped to do something sinful, then you might have a sin for disobeying, on the one hand, and possibly for disrespecting authority, on the other.

But, since you went to confession, you used the time wisely and in a holy way. I don’t think you committed a mortal sin.

You should use this as a learning “moment” and think ahead about the consequences of your actions.

Let’s review the the three criteria for mortal sin (from CCC):
1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.”

1858 Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: “Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother.” The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft. One must also take into account who is wronged: violence against parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger.

1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.
From what you wrote, it doesn’t look like a grave matter. Full knowledge might be hard to prove since you got mixed signals from the two authorities who ruled on the matter (front office vs. class council), plus I am not convinced that you have full knowledge of how this is in opposition to God’s law. I’ll guess that you had complete consent, since it looks like you freely chose to come late after learning the facts of the matter. So you’ve probably got one out of three, which means it’s not mortal.

Your CAF member name is familiar but I have not read many of your posts, so I do not know if you are inclined to be scrupulous, but this looks like the sort of thing a scrupulous person would worry about. If you tend to worry about the mortality of minor infractions, please talk with your priest or spiritual advisor about it. Please be assured of God’s limitless love and mercy. He is not waiting for some excuse to render a harsh judgement. He knows you are only human, and that you are young and still learning how to obey his commandments. Remember also that the greatest commandment is to love God (see Mark 12:28-34). It looks like you are on the right track, so do not be afraid.

Great points. I actually do suffer from scrupulosity and mentioned it to the Priest at that Confession. In fact, the reason I didn’t mention this there was that the Priest told me to focus on things I knew were sins, not worries, one of which I considered this.

And yet, you then brought those worries here instead. Talk to your confessor about your use of online forums to ask these questions in circumvention of his directive not to focus on worries.

You raise another good point. It’s just… I worry a lot :blush:

Which is why you need to be under regular spiritual direction and the care of your pastor.

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