I’ve always thought that it wasn’t until I read this post a while back. Now I’m not so sure.
Scrupulosity is a condition. It is not willfully desired or sought. To persist in that condition without seeking advice or counsel might be sinful.It is a form of OCD.
Therefore, any mental or physical condition is sinful?
The author of the article is the founder of Scrupulous Anonymous.
Please do some research before putting out such a statement as “scrupulosity is a sin”.
That could be very damaging to someone who is already afflicted with this condition.
Homosexuality is a condition. Homosexual acts are sinful. Intemperance is sinful. Alcoholism is a condition and disease. Not any or every mental or physical condition is sinful. Some are.
“He who sins is a slave to sin”. Call it a condition or disease. Slavery is slavery. Jesus came to free us of sin. If we say we have no sin then He did not come for us. Maybe all sins that enslave us are OCD.
The scruplous suffer, because they are deluded by themselves or the evil one into believing they are in sin, when they are not. They refuse to believe that they are not sinful. The pope can shout at them, you are not guilty and they will not believe it.
The scrupulous would do anything to not sin. The way for a scrupulous person to escape the slavery of scruples and be free is to know that he is committing sin and needs to repent of it.
If he refuses to believe his confessor when he is told he is absolved of all sins then he lacks faith in God, in God’s mercy, in the sacrament, in the Church. He refuses to give up his burden and be freed. It may be a mental condition.
The scrupulous insists he is sinful in a thousand ways, when he is not, but denies that where he is sinful, being scrupulous is a sin.
We all try to justify our sins whatever they may be. One way is telling ourselves that our sin is not a sin. My parish priest has a parishoner come to confession every week. The confession takes almost an hour. The man is a friend of mine and he is a very holy man. He spends hours on his knees. The priest does not know what to do to help him get past the nit picking at himself. If he thinks he might not have said his rosary devoutly enough he thinks he is damned. He imagines that he might have skipped a bead or said eleven Hail Marys instead of ten. He refuses to stop flogging himself over imaginary sins. Who could not pity this man? In faith he has to believe God loves him and forgives him. If he can not accept this he can not know mercy.
Ineresting that the author would cite Saint Alphonsus di Liquouri. St. Al said he suffered the worst case of scruples of anyone in history, that it was sinful and the only way he was able to be set free of it was by obeying a confessor who forced him to accept that God forgave him. It is many years since I read his life story, but I think I recall this correctly.
This does not mean that scrupulosity is not a psychological condition also. Sin can make one crazy. The article does not say scrupulosity is not a sin, if I read it correctly, but that desperation is not a sin. Also interesting. Despair is one of the six sins against the Holy Spirit. The article does not carry any canonical influence. It expresses the opinion of the author. Scrupulosity is a sin, because the person refuses to accept mercy. It tells the person that he is unforgivable, that his sin is great than God’s mercy. It is a refusal to accept God’s love and mercy, a sin against faith, because it refuses to believe the truth that God loves and forgives us. The person makes himself his own judge, taking judgement from God.
I know a man who became suicidal as a result of suffering religious scrupulosity. He eventually abanddoned all the faith and placed himself under the care of a psychiatrist and a neurologist. I like Saint Alphonsis cure better. Confess the sin and accept the authoirty of your confessor to absolve you of scruples.
Many saints addressed scruples.
Here is a quote from Saint Joseph Cafasso to a penitient confessing this sin.
“Uneasy about your prayers? I forbid you to repeat even small parts of them. Troubled over the examination of conscience? Omit the daily examen. You want to go to confession everyday? No, once a week is enough. It is useless to make long confessions; just answer my questions, nothing more. You are afraid you did not have contrition for your sins? That regret indicates you were sorry. You went to confession to someone else last week after making your confession to me? I refuse you absolution today. Come again in a week. You did not go to Communion as often as I told you to do so? I refuse to authorize you to receive at all this week; you are not worthy; when you learn to be more obedient, I’ll tell you when you may go again. You are troubled about your preparation for Communion? Don’t make any. You should always be ready to cmmunicate. Just see if you have any venal sins, make an act of contrition, kiss a crucifx and receive without fear”.
From Bl. Julian of Norwich
“When they begin to hate sin and amend themselves to the laws of Holy Church, still there persists a fear that moves them to look at themselvesand their sins committed in the past. And they take this fear for umility, but it is a reprehensible blindness and weakness”.
Scruples have always been matter for confession. Why would that be if it were not sinful?
Any thoughts on this?
Thanks and God bless