Is there such a thing as a list of mortal sins?


Is there such a thing as a list of mortal sins?

I’m not asking for the definition of a mortal sin–just a list of sins that the Church formally considers to be mortal sins (as opposed to venial sins).


try this:


I’m afraid this list is incomplete. It doesn’t include (straight) murder, to say the least.

Does anyone know whether there is a official Catholic list of mortal sins which is reliable? And where to find it?

Thanks in advance.


I have a little problem with the list. The Catechism states full knowledge and consent is required, and in a grave matter. How does wasting time apply? It’s obvious that some cases won’t be grave enough as I don’t see it as a mortal sin to do unproductive things if one does his job well, or even if he falls behind with his obligations but no serious good is endangered.

And there’s no way one tells me not covering elbows is a sin. Let alone a mortal sin. Sorry, that isn’t going to happen.

Note: taking that statement to an extreme, it was a mortal sin for first Christians to disrobe for baptism. And it was done and they were even specifically told to disrobe without shame in front of the whole congregation. By the reasoning contained in that list, they shouldn’t be Saints but should be in hell unless mitigating circumstances applied. That’s obviously wrong.

Sorry, I’m not going to believe that nudists are mortal sinners or that people on the beach are.

“Without a good reason” doesn’t work here. Mitigating circumstances reduce guilt but don’t allow anyone to say “yes, do that, it’s OK for you”. And we believe it’s OK for a Christian woman to go to a male doctor and disrobe, or for a Christian man to go to a female doctor. Swimming pools and beaches are not hells on earth filled with mortal sinners.

Impure thoughts and desire are extremely problematic. “Harbouring” or “cherishing” in front of it would solve the problem. But attraction is natural and morally neutral. Even if we won’t really call it impure, we can’t really call it pure, either. That’s why this position is problematic. At least in its literal sense.

They could be more clear on masturbation. Self-touching is believed to be OK within marital intercourse (I personally remain doubtful on this one), even if it actually leads to an orgasm for the woman (and here I have a huge, huge problem).

“Prolonged kissing and holding hands if it arouses sexual desire.” - what level of sexual desire is sufficient and what is sexual in this case? Sexual desire is natural and it can appear even as a result of merely seeing someone. If it’s done for the purpose of lusting after the woman or the man, sure. But this wording is so unclear.

“Tax Evasion” - How about “dishonest tax evasion”? If one evades taxes by honest means, i.e. by using legal means and without twisting the sense of a legal rule, I don’t see how it could be a mortal sin. Tax consultant is a legitimate job.

Next, they call on the following: “The souls of those who die in mortal sin or with original sin only, however, immediately descend to hell, yet to be punished with different punishments.”

What about unbaptised children? They die with the original sin only and they don’t go to hell. Ignorant righteous pagans don’t go to hell. Jews don’t necessarily have to go to hell and they live with the original sin. Same Muslims.

We could attach the interpreted conclusion that it only applies to those who die with the original sin through their own fault. But otherwise the readers could come up with disturbing conclusions like, “Hey! You Catholics really believe unbaptised children or Jews or Muslims go to hell?”


Why would Tax Evasion be listed as a mortal sin?

Personally I think blind obedience to authority should be a mortal sin.


If someone dabbles with “adjusting” papers, hiding income, exaggerating the links between the expenses made and income gained, that looks pretty much like a big big sin.

But if you start a business instead of working as a freelancer in the same business, or choose to self-employ and work on a contract rather than for a salary in order to pay smaller taxes (it’s like 20% difference in some cases), I don’t see it as a sin. But it might be pious to give some of the gain to charity, thank God for the savings and pray to keep clear conscience in filing in the tables in the tax reports.


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