Is it a mortal sin to do something you think is likely a mortal sin even if it really isn't?

This is totally different from the sin I was talking about yesterday. I went to Confession for that. But I was in the line for Communion and I thought, “I might have committed a mortal sin! Maybe I shouldn’t take Communion!” I did anyway, because I didn’t have a much time to think about it. When I got back to my seat after receiving the Body and Blood of Christ, I realized the sin I thought was mortal definitely wasn’t. I was just being scrupulous again. I’m not even sure it was a sin at all. But I felt bad for taking Communion even though I thought I might be in the state of mortal sin. Is it a mortal sin to do something you think is likely a mortal sin, even if it really isn’t?

Please talk with your preist about your scrupulosity.

As long as you get to confession ASAP, like that day if possible… maybe even speak to a priest after the mass, pull him aside…

I have heard my priest mention more than once that if you are already in line for communion and you suddenly remember that you have a mortal sin on your soul you may go ahead and receive communion, you do not have to basically publicly announce that you are in a mortal sin by bailing out of the line. Also, if you had just been to confession and you sincerely forgot a mortal sin you would be be absolved of it, you would just need to remember to confess it the next time you go. In other circumstances however, if you think something might be a mortal sin and you do it anyway, it would be a mortal sin because you show yourself to have been willing to commit that sin, if you are in doubt about the sinfulness of something you should abstain from it until you can be certain it is not.

Nickname Sam, bless you, and please note that this ^ is the advice you need to take. Scrupulosity is a huge burden and you need to get perspective from your priest (preferably the same priest for every confession) rather than from a group of well-intentioned people who do not have the skill or knowledge to help the scrupulous.

Ok, a mortal sin is when you are absolutely certain that X is a grave offense to God, and you still do it. It’s not a mortal sin if you are not sure or if you didn’t do it on purpose. It’s not a mortal sin if you thought it was but it wasn’t because grave matter is lacking (otherwise it would be a mortal sin).

If after an examination of conscience you confess and receive absolution, and then you say “I might have committed a mortal sin”, do not stop from receiving Communion. Let Christ handle it for you! He expects not what is impossible of you, and He asks of us only what we can give Him - individually, that is. He doesn’t ask the same of everyone, though ultimately He wants everyone to be sanctified and reach heaven.

Try praying Psalm 42 before Mass :thumbsup:

Why are you sad, o my soul? And why do you disquiet me?

Hope in God, for I will still give praise to him: the salvation of my countenance, and my God.

And I will go in to the altar of God; to God who gives joy to my youth.

Hum…I would not agree per se

One could have just remembered that one ate a tuna sandwich.

There is though provision for a grave reason where one could receive after one made an act of perfect contrition and resolve to confess as soon as possible. But there has to be a grave reason and no opportunity to confess.

I am setting aside much of the question here asked --and I caution others in seeking to provide answers here.

One who struggles with scrupulosity needs to have a regular confessor who knows them and their difficulties to direct them. Who can take a kind of responsibility for them. Whom the person “obeys” in what is not manifest sin (like go murder my secretary)

And the regular confessor can even give the person particular principles for them to follow due to their scruples.

(* for example while a person with an ordinary conscience or a lax one is to stop and not do what they think may be a mortal sin – a regular confessor might direct his particular penitent with scruples to “go ahead unless you are certain it is sin” – depending on their kinds of unfounded scruples etc etc. He can direct him as his regular confessor --such is the practice in the Church. Or he might direct his penitent with scruples that they are to not let mere “fear” of mortal sin stop them from Communion but make and act of contrition and receive unless they are certain it was mortal. A matter for the regular confessor to direct person with scruples in)

(And what say a person is directed by his regular confessor to do in his case due to his scruples …can likely be something another person is not to do…)

They can be in a different boat than others…

Dearest Sam,

When a person suffers from OCD and scrupulosity, questions and answers on sin are different than for someone who does not suffer from this problem.

Here is an example of why people on CAF will not be able to help you even if they write a good answer for someone who is not suffering.

Lets say Mary wants to know if she should visit Sally after school. Sally has a cold and went to school today. Someone might tell Mary that she can visit with Sally. What they don’t know is that Mary’s immune system is suppressed. She can very easily catch Sally’s cold and become very ill, maybe even need to be hospitalized.

So, the common answer, “Sure you can visit someone with a cold, just ask them to cover their cough and sneezes, don’t share their cups, and wash you hands,” doesn’t apply to Mary.

So common answers about sin can not really apply to helping someone suffering from OCD or scrupulosity.

You want help from a spiritual director, a confessor who is very familiar with you, and maybe even a medical person or therapist. They are who you need to seek answers on how to deal with thoughts of sin. Most likely a person with OCD/scrupulosity has more problem with thoughts of “is it a sin?” than with actually committing sins.

You need someone who can help you be the Person -in- Charge of your OCD and not let the OCD be in Charge of You.

The computer is easy to try to find an answer, but in the case of scrupulosity, it may just fuel up your problems and flame the burning questions even more.

Do you have a regular confessor or spiritual advisor or therapist who is working with you?

You are in my prayers, dear Sam.

Thanks you so much! You have no idea how much I appreciate that. :slight_smile:

Thanks so much to everyone for your kind and helpful advice. :slight_smile: Praying for you all!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit