Is Having Close Calls Mortal Sin

I’ve been having problems with keeping up my abstinence from watching porn, but I have recently been doing considerably better at abstaining from doing so. Although I have not watched porn in some time, I still have these urges to start doing it again and I have had some very close calls where I pull up the porn site and get very tempted to look at the pictures, but only see the blurred parts of them and then proceed to close the site. Is having these close calls a mortal sin?

Welcome to the CA Forum @Haywire2

Experiencing the same situation here.

This is a temptation. It’s not a sin to be tempted but falling into it could be considered as one.

It is a sin to place oneself (or anyone else) deliberately in the way of temptation.

I recommend regularly reciting the Act of Contrition

So just to clarify, even the fact that I looked at said sinful pictures at the point of almost giving in, but not really having had “seen” them completely since they were blurred and I just scrolled past them quickly, and exited the site after coming to my senses isn’t a sin either?

That sounds like temptation, not sin.

I repeat the advice, that you should pray the Act of Contrition when tempted.

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Seeing them accidentally doesn’t seem to be sinful. It’s unavoidable mostly, those weird and malicious ads suddenly pop out without your intentions to have a carnal pleasure. But it’s not a good idea to rely on the thought that it’s only a temptation because it can draw you to sin. Ask your parish priest about this matter.

Kindly take a look at this website It can give an answer to your question:,being%20blameless%20from%20that%20sin.

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Deliberately navigating to the site is sinful, even if you don’t follow through… but it’s definitely less sinful than following through. And of course whether there was full consent of the will is a different matter. If the OP logged into the site almost out of habit, as an impulse, without thinking it through, then it may very well not be a mortal sin.
Best discussed with one’s priest.

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I heard a very holy priest give this advice about lustful thoughts and urges. It has helped me enormously. Take the moment to Mary with this very brief prayer.
‘Mary, mother of pure love, pray for me.’
Whenever I feel that urge. I repeat it until the urge passes. Thanks to the Blessed Mother, it always does pass.

I will pray for you, please do the same for all of us dealing with this blight.

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When I impulsively went to the site in a low point of spiritual weakness, It was a brief moment of blind, impulsive animalistic desire to fully look at the blurred pornographic images without the said “blur”. But I refrained from doing so after coming to my senses. Even if it is still a sin , regardless if I didn’t follow through, or completely see the images, how bad would the gravity of the act be, venial? Mortal?

You need to take this up with your pastor or confessor, not with unknown people on the internet who are not trained in moral theology.


There is theology that teaches that intending to commit a sin is the equivalent of actually committing the sin. For instance, you pulled the trigger to commit murder, but the gun jammed.

Without any references, I believe the gravity of a sin is related to the harm done. I further believe that your guardian angel, who is committed to helping you avoid sin, can intervene by jamming the gun or blurring the image in order to help. My thinking is that you avoided a grave sin by divine intervention. Don’t forget to say thanks.:slight_smile:

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Thank you so much, so in this case would you say that I didn’t end up committing the said mortal sin due to the divine intervention that I must’ve had, deeming it more sort of a venial sin because of that?

That is exactly my thinking.

Alright I will take that into account, thank you for your advice and may god bless you :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thank you all for all your help, I really do greatly appreciate all the advice that was given to me today, I will be sure to pray for you all and may God bless everybody :slightly_smiling_face:.

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Your fixation on whether this is/was “venial” or “mortal” is, while understandable, off the mark. We should be more intent on making satisfaction for sins than on deeply analyzing the guilt.

Curiosity is a distinct sin from lust, albeit it can be annexed to it by a causal relationship, which it was in this case, even if imperfectly deliberate lust. And the danger escalates immediately, as you know. So the better thing to concentrate on, after a good act of contrition (good to do every day, regardless!), would be to begin working immediately on strategies to avoid this from ever happening again - EVER.

Here is my standard chastity advice on CAF:

There are monitoring programs (like Covenant Eyes) that can help with controlling electronic media. You could try using that with a trusted friend or mentor. Other than that, you need to put distance between yourself and the occasion of sin - keep windows and doors open, take cold showers, reduce (or eliminate temporarily) alcohol use around certain people/in certain situations, etc. Laughing more is also helpful, especially in the moment of temptation (rational delight filling the body - so watch more comedy!) as is fasting and other mild discomfort which distracts the body (holding your breath, biting your tongue, etc.)… just getting up and walking around can also give the space and time necessary to get a grip. Exercise also helps, in various ways, also in the moment… distracting and exhausting the body. Instinctively praying a decade of the rosary (meditating especially on one of the sorrowful mysteries) or singing a verse of a pious hymn will also create the time and strength of will you need to do what is right. Meditate also in the moment on the imminence of death, and always ask for the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph… and ask the Lord always for the help you need. Go to confession as needed, then return to receiving Holy Communion.

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Without any references indeed - there will not be any to find… The deliberate will to sin is itself morally equivalent to the commission of the act. Every author agrees on this. Consequences cannot of themselves change the act’s nature… the fundamental subject of sin is the will, not the external world or even other parts of the one acting.


Your post describes the theology I mentioned.

I could try to squeeze my opinion out of the Catechism or references, but you are right. It isn’t there.

I believe that just as demons can put temptations in one’s path in order to lead one to sin, God can allow his angels to intervene. To be clear, they do not ultimately effect the will. In this case the OP could have refreshed the page or tried visiting another site. The intervention merely gave him a chance to alter his own will. Having altered his will against sin, no sin occurred.

Certainly we are spared from worse temptations by Divine aid… we pray for this specifically in the Our Father.



When tempted start praying. Jaculatories are very effective. Also, remember that still pictures can also be pornography so you have to battle even these.

And remember to talk to your spiritual counselor or director.

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