is it a mortal sin???


#1

I have a close friend who was recently in an arguement with his local priest regarding a personal matter. The priest told him that he was “stifling the holy spirit”, and that he committed a mortal sin. He repeated it to my friend several times in the couse of the conflict, and he not only said that “it was a mortal sin” but also “you have committed a mortal sin”. That last statement implies judgement I believe.

I spoke to my friend and reassured him that he should never have been judged, and that nobody has the right to judge another person’s soul. To tell someone that they are in “mortal sin” is a vey serious thing.

Objectivly speaking, judging someone like that - especially it being a priest - is mortally sinful. I want to be clear, I am not judging that priest’s soul - I am speaking objectivly.

Should I advise my friend to take this matter to his Bishop, as he is very upset, and if this priest has told him this - who knows if he has judged others. I believe that it should be nipped in the bud at any rate.

I appreciate your input -

I appreciate facts on this one, not just speculation, its really important.

metanoia


#2

by the way, it was outside of the sacrament of confession, or spiritual direction, and he said it in the presence of another person as well.


#3

A couple of questions:

Who initiated this public discussion?
Did the initiator have an agenda (i.e. to assert the Church is in error)?
Are the “acts” in question objectively mortal sins (i.e. adultery, fornification, claiming Christ isn’t God, receiving the Eucharist unworthily) or are they subjectively mortal sins (greed, lust, etc.)?
Were the other observers passively observing or actively observing?
Is there a risk that scandal could have occurred if the Priest hadn’t been forceful?


#4

three things have to be in one’s mind for any sin committed to be mortal. and for anyone to tell someone any sin is mortal would not be knowing the state of what the person was going through before the sin was committed.
the person first has to KNOW it is a sin, have full knowledge of the gravity of the sin, and than commit the sin. with one of these aspects missing, it can’t be considered mortal.
so i would say, no matter what your friend was discussing, or even for that matter who he was discussing it with, be a friend or priest. for someone to say they committed a mortal sin would be a judgement on that person’s part. now if the friend/priest had said your soul is in danger by committing this sin. that is a whole different ball game.


#5

hi,

the priest begain the discussion. The discussion subject had nothing to do with Faith or Morals, there was an assertion by my friend that the priest had been handling a certain situation in a less than perfect way. It had to do with a faith formation they are working on for a group, and my friend made some points to the priest in order to make the program more effective. He felt that the priest was handling a couple thing poorly and some people were feeling alienated by the priest’s approach. My friend was speaking up on their behalf in order to possibly rectify the situation.

It was a 3 way conversation, the third person was activly participating until the “judgement” was pronounced, then he just stood listening quietly, in order not to get himself involved.

[quote=Orionthehunter]A couple of questions:
prorgar
Who initiated this public discussion?
Did the initiator have an agenda (i.e. to assert the Church is in error)?
Are the “acts” in question objectively mortal sins (i.e. adultery, fornification, claiming Christ isn’t God, receiving the Eucharist unworthily) or are they subjectively mortal sins (greed, lust, etc.)?
Were the other observers passively observing or actively observing?
Is there a risk that scandal could have occurred if the Priest hadn’t been forceful?
[/quote]


#6

the priest actually said “you have committed a grave sin”


#7

[quote=metanoia]hi,

the priest begain the discussion. The discussion subject had nothing to do with Faith or Morals, there was an assertion by my friend that the priest had been handling a certain situation in a less than perfect way. It had to do with a faith formation they are working on for a group, and my friend made some points to the priest in order to make the program more effective. He felt that the priest was handling a couple thing poorly and some people were feeling alienated by the priest’s approach. My friend was speaking up on their behalf in order to possibly rectify the situation.

It was a 3 way conversation, the third person was activly participating until the “judgement” was pronounced, then he just stood listening quietly, in order not to get himself involved.
[/quote]

I guess to be helpful, one would have to know more about the act itself to give meaningful commentary. I do think that there might be an unintentional miscommunication. Unless the act was a defacto objectively grave sin, the better words by the Priest might have been say that it was a “grave matter” and not used the word sin as that implies some judgment that the Priest may not be fully capable of making.

However, by reading between the lines, I think I detect an issue of scandal being perpetrated that the Priest wanted to make sure was squashed.


#8

there was no scandal to be sure, my feeling is that the priest may have been insulted in some way by my friend because he was pointing out a better way for the priest to approach the situation. Both my friend and the priest are 100% orthodox, there was no arguement with church teachings, rather a difference in the pastoral approach.

The priest wanted to do things “his way” regardless, and when made aware that “his way” is not effective enought or “correct” he told my friend that he was “stifling the holy spirit, and thats a grave sin” then he said “you have committed a grave sin”.

I think that judging like that is absolutly wrong

[quote=Orionthehunter]I guess to be helpful, one would have to know more about the act itself to give meaningful commentary. I do think that there might be an unintentional miscommunication. Unless the act was a defacto objectively grave sin, the better words by the Priest might have been say that it was a “grave matter” and not used the word sin as that implies some judgment that the Priest may not be fully capable of making.

However, by reading between the lines, I think I detect an issue of scandal being perpetrated that the Priest wanted to make sure was squashed.
[/quote]


#9

[quote=metanoia]I I spoke to my friend and reassured him that he should never have been judged, and that nobody has the right to judge another person’s soul. To tell someone that they are in “mortal sin” is a vey serious thing.

Objectivly speaking, judging someone like that - especially it being a priest - is mortally sinful. I want to be clear, I am not judging that priest’s soul - I am speaking objectivly.

metanoia
[/quote]

actually the priest is the one who judges whether the person is involved in a mortal sin, that is his job, it is called being a pastor.


#10

I believe you’re wrong…

Its my understanding that a Pastor can judge wether an act is objectivly mortally sinful, but cannot judge the person subjectivly and say they are in mortal sin.

Granted, special people like St. Pio could read souls, but that information is transmitted sensitivly to the person in spiritual direction.

My point. I feel that this priest was WRONG and by judging and accusing my friend of committing mortal sin - I believe he himself “objectivly” committed mortal sin. As I have said before, I am not judging wether the priest has committed a mortal sin or not, but just stating that what he did by accusing another person (during an arguement, and in front of another person) of committing mortal sin, I believe to wrong, and objectivly a mortal sin. That is NOT BEING A GOOD PASTOR!

Am I right?


#11

The sin of “stifling the Holy Spirit?”

Now that’s about as subjective as you can get. Almost like saying it’s a grave sin if you don’t support government welfare, because you would be disobeying the edict to feed the poor.

That being said, your friend may have committed a sin against the 4th Commandment, which is certainly grave matter. We don’t call our priests “father” for nothing. We owe them a certain respect. If you and your priest disagree on something that is a pastoral matter, then you need to give the nod to the priests authority.

Even if you are confident that you are more correct, sometimes the priest needs to learn by his own mistakes. And perhaps, after listening to your advice, then neglecting it, and making a mistake on his own, he’ll learn to trust your judgement on such matters.

Every good leader is an excellent follower.


#12

You seem to be describing a conversation in which your friend might have intended to offer what might be construed as criticism of the priest or his policies. Yet there was a third party to the conversation. I would leave a delicate matter like that to a private conversation, unless there was no danger of misunderstanding. I can’t tell from what you have described if this applies or not.

Also, if your friend was deeply hurt, perhaps he ought to wait until tempers are cooled and then approach the priest in private to seek to repair the relationship or trust between them.

Priests seem to have a right to have stupid policies, and you and I have to just sit there and watch. Such is authority. Offer any appropriate suggestions, but the priest gets to decide how to run things in the end. Then look at it as an *opportunity *to submit to the wishes and desire of someone other than yourself.


#13

I myself have great respect for priests, however I do not feel that they should use their priesthood as a cloak - so as always to be right on everything. If a priest screws up, he should be liable, just like anyone else.

In this case, there was an arguement, and even if my friend was wrong - to acccuse another person of committing mortal sin is a serious thing, and should not be condoned.

My friend has approached the priest in an effort to apollogize, and the priest just ignores him.

Even if my friend is wrong, I think the priest is more wrong my accusing him of mortal sin. My friend is very upset about this emotionally, alot of it stems from the priest’s behavior since.

Its a small parish, so its hard to avoid the priest. My friend now feels uncomfortable around him, but he won’t stop attending mass over this.


#14

Metanoia, you seem to be confused about the difference between grave sin and mortal sin.

You keep repeating that the priest called it a “mortal” sin, even after you said,

‘he told my friend that he was “stifling the holy spirit, and thats a grave sin” then he said “you have committed a grave sin”.’

A grave sin is **one **of the three requirements for a mortal sin. The two terms are not interchangeable.

Anyone with a well-informed conscience can usually tell a grave sin when they see it (except maybe when we are looking in a mirror).

But we can not tell whether that grave sin is mortal or not. Only God, and the sinner, can tell that. And sometimes the sinner can’t tell.

HTH


#15

[quote=Ruthie]Metanoia, you seem to be confused about the difference between grave sin and mortal sin.

You keep repeating that the priest called it a “mortal” sin, even after you said,

‘he told my friend that he was “stifling the holy spirit, and thats a grave sin” then he said “you have committed a grave sin”.’

A grave sin is **one **of the three requirements for a mortal sin. The two terms are not interchangeable.

Anyone with a well-informed conscience can usually tell a grave sin when they see it (except maybe when we are looking in a mirror).

But we can not tell whether that grave sin is mortal or not. Only God, and the sinner, can tell that. And sometimes the sinner can’t tell.

HTH
[/quote]

Actually **grave sin ** is not one of the three requirements. **Grave matter ** is one of the three requirements.


#16

well, good news

they both apologized and made up

hip hip hooray

end of story…


#17

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