Is not saying something about other's grave sins always a Mortal sin?

I’m kind of scrupulous, and I think the 1962 Roman Missal lists 9 ways to be an accessory to another’s grave sin, one of them is silence.

This has plagued me for a while now cause I never know when “silence” in the face of another’s grave sin is a mortal sin for me or not, cause I’m never sure of my obligation in the moment.

Today I was at a doctor’s appointment and was making small talk with the nurse, the fact that I’m a college student studying Catholic theology came up and she mentioned that she went to Catholic school when she was growing up, but then said to me that she never forced the Catholic Faith on her children and that her husband decided they wouldn’t go to church, then she joked about being guilty. Of course my emotions/scrupulousness made me feel so sad for her and her family but I didn’t say anything other than a sort of negatively toned “oh”. I just didn’t know what to say in the moment and I felt really worked up and anxious inside.

I realize that if I was perfectly living out my call to evangelize as a Catholic I would have handled this situation differently and maybe reached out to her or something. But in the mean time should I be worried that I committed a mortal sin? I keep telling myself that since I wasn’t sure of my obligation in the moment…that there was no sin(or maybe only venial sin). Another thing I keep thinking is that I didn’t agree with her or in my heart and mind actually will her and her family not practicing the Faith…so I just don’t know right now.

Please post the part of the 1962 Missal that you are basing this on.

Are you asking strangers on the internet if your are going to hell or not?

Compendium issued by Pope Benedict XVI

395. When does one commit a mortal sin?

1855-1861
1874

One commits a mortal sin when there are simultaneously present: grave matter, full knowledge, and deliberate consent. This sin destroys charity in us, deprives us of sanctifying grace, and, if unrepented, leads us to the eternal death of hell. It can be forgiven in the ordinary way by means of the sacraments of Baptism and of Penance or Reconciliation.
**
396. When does one commit a venial sin?**

1862-1864
1875

One commits a venial sin, which is essentially different from a mortal sin, when the matter involved is less serious or, even if it is grave, when full knowledge or complete consent are absent. Venial sin does not break the covenant with God but it weakens charity …

vatican.va/archive/compendium_ccc/documents/archive_2005_compendium-ccc_en.html

I will re-post another older post of mine (general information regarding scrupulosity -since you mentioned that you may be struggling in that area)

A person struggles with scruples - what ought they do?

A person with scrupulosity --ought to have a* “regular confessor” who can direct them --and even give them some general principles* to follow -to apply (principles for them due to their particular scruples -they are usually not for those with a normal conscience).

Thus with their direction they can “dismiss scruples” (in the older language despise them) - “act against them” (agere contra).

Scruples are to be dismissed ~ not argued with.

To borrow and image from a Carthusian from centuries ago: Scruples *are like a barking dog or a hissing goose -one does not stop to argue with a barking dog or a hissing goose does one? * No one keeps walking.

Such ‘obedience’ to a regular confessor who knows of ones scruples (except in what is manifest sin - such as if he told them it was ok to murder someone or something certain like that) is key. Such is the age old practice.

Also counseling -(especially if one also has OCD) could be helpful depending on the case -but one would want to look for a counselor who can assist one in following the Churches Teachings - not go contrary to them (I have heard CA staff mention catholictherapists.com/)

Here was a not too long ago post from Jimmy Akin of CA that I saw in the Register and saved for those who struggle with such.

ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/6-tools-for-the-scrupulous

This list is taken from pg 34 of the 1962 Roman Missal(it’s underneath the heading The Most Necessary Prayers) I’m well aware of the 3 conditions for mortal sin…that’s what I’m trying to figure out, if it was grave matter or not.

Well is it?

=singer878;13196226]I’m kind of scrupulous, and I think the 1962 Roman Missal lists 9 ways to be an accessory to another’s grave sin, one of them is silence.

This has plagued me for a while now cause I never know when “silence” in the face of another’s grave sin is a mortal sin for me or not, cause I’m never sure of my obligation in the moment.

Today I was at a doctor’s appointment and was making small talk with the nurse, the fact that I’m a college student studying Catholic theology came up and she mentioned that she went to Catholic school when she was growing up, but then said to me that she never forced the Catholic Faith on her children and that her husband decided they wouldn’t go to church, then she joked about being guilty. Of course my emotions/scrupulousness made me feel so sad for her and her family but I didn’t say anything other than a sort of negatively toned “oh”. I just didn’t know what to say in the moment and I felt really worked up and anxious inside.

I realize that if I was perfectly living out my call to evangelize as a Catholic I would have handled this situation differently and maybe reached out to her or something. But in the mean time should I be worried that I committed a mortal sin? I keep telling myself that since I wasn’t sure of my obligation in the moment…that there was no sin(or maybe only venial sin). Another thing I keep thinking is that I didn’t agree with her or in my heart and mind actually will her and her family not practicing the Faith…so I just don’t know right now.

Because both you and the one’s you’re considering judging are surrounded by TONS of variable factors this is an issue to be discussed with your priest! ONLY he can guide you on these issues.

Trying to do so on a Catholic Forum, even by well informed Catholics, IMO, is shortchanging you.:o

PRAY MUCH and go see Father ASAP!

God Bless you,
Pat Miron

Adults are aware of what they are doing. You don’t need to say much. IF it were a small child telling you he doesn’t want to go to church, that is different. You can simply say that this little kid needs to go to be with Jesus and therefore should go to church.

Relax. Although I cannot give you a definitive answer, it certainly doesn’t sound like a mortal sin. If you have any doubt at all about a sin, be sure you don’t have to go to Confession (unless you desire to, but it wouldn’t be an obligation…feel free to receive Communion).

You also can’t every perfectly live out your call to be a Catholic. We are all affected by original sin. Realize that Jesus upholds you and calls you to live a life of freedom, like a bird flying through the air. Recognize God’s loving presence at every moment of your life–you can’t just walk into a mortal sin. You have to have full knowledge and complete consent at the same time for grave matter to be a mortal sin.

I am going to totally guess here, this is just my opinion. I would believe that the silence in the face of another’s grave sin would be silence WHILE the sin was occurring. In other words if you were a witness to a rape, murder, someone setting a house on fire right in front of your face then you should not be silent.

The nurse here sounded like she was talking about past decisions. You wrote that she “never forced (past tense) the Catholic faith on her children” and that her and her husband “decided they wouldn’t go to church” (past tense.)

So you were really not a witness to a sin someone was committing before your eyes. That sin seemed to take root years before when this nurse was having private discussions with her husband and decided not to take their children to church. This nurse was sharing with you a very sad decision that she and her husband evidently made quite a while ago. I really don’t even see how there is a venial sin here, she wasn’t asking your opinion she was sharing information with you and you responded very politely in an extremely awkward and uncomfortable situation!

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