Is it a grave sin to disobey parents?

Hello. Maybe I’m being a little too legalistic here, but I just want to make sure.

I’m 16 years old, and I’ve been using as my examination of conscience this document: catholicparents.org/oxcart/Examination%20of%20Conscience.pdf

It says that serious disobedient to parents and other legitimate authorities is a grave sin and that more minor disobedience is only a venial sin.

But reading the Catechism, it is seeming to say that any disobedience to parents/teachers is a grave sin:

CCC 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.”

CCC 2217, describing sins against the Fourth Commandment: As long as a child lives at home with his parents, the child should obey his parents in all that they ask of him when it is for his good or that of the family. As long as a child lives at home with his parents, the child should obey his parents in all that they ask of him when it is for his good or that of the family. "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord."22 Children should also obey the reasonable directions of their teachers and all to whom their parents have entrusted them. But if a child is convinced in conscience that it would be morally wrong to obey a particular order, he must not do so.

This seems to be saying that it is a grave sin to ever disobey parents, teachers, and other authorities.

Therefore, here is my question: Is it indeed always a grave sin to disobey parents, teachers, “and all to whom their parents have entrusted them”?

Keep in mind that I ask these things not because I want to commit sin without consequence, but because I need to know whether these things need to be confessed or not.

When in doubt about a specific instance or pattern of behavior, you should confess it. After all, this is about YOUR conscience and YOUR relationship with the Lord.

Kind regards

You should obey your parents unless what they ask you to do is against Church teachings and immoral.

I do not think it is a grave or mortal sin if you mother asks you to pick up your socks, but you do not. It is however disrespectful and if it continues, could lead to habitual disobedience. This could lead to instances of disobedience of a more serious nature. So I would have to agree with the previous reply by thistle: "You should obey your parents unless what they ask you to do is against Church teachings and immoral."

Hi Pax,

Degree of sinfulness depends very much on the seriousness of the offense. As a parent, I can assure you that I do not want my kids considering every act of disobedience they might commit to be grave sin!

The other poster makes a good point about habit, but you seem like a very conscientious young person, so I would not worry too much. And don’t think that any personal preference your parents might have (regarding career choice for instance) is binding on you. Their authority extends to teaching you right and wrong, and to protecting you from harm.

God Bless,
Joan

Paxvobis,

“To honor” and “to obey” are two different things.

An adult son/ daughter has the right to make their own decision, but at your age you still under the care of your parents. Obedient is a must because at your age you may not be able to know what’s good for you. But when you reach adulthood you can make your own decision but you still bound to always honor your parents as the ten commandment say.

To dishonor your parents is a grave sin, just like to dishonor God and the Church is a grave sin.

Hi to all,

Just to point out, the OP is not asking whether he (or she) needs to obey the parents, but whether it is grave sin to disobey.

Pax seems somewhat scrupulous to me, and I think assurance that not every little issue is matter for the confessional or missed Communion is in order.

Some parent/child relationships are strained in the late teens, so even though obedience is important, teens as well as parents need to cut themselves at least some slack.

God Bless,
Joan

Yes grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments…

but in many of them there is what is called technically “parvity of matter” that is “smallness of matter”. That means some things are venial matter …not grave.

PS: make sure you read these vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/messages/youth/index_en.htm

and keep following Christ! In him is true life.

(oh and obey your parents…in the things one is to obey in…:))

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