does the Church provide a list of mortal sins, so people will know when they cannot receive Communion?
The Ten Commandments is the place to start. It is THE list that God gave us.
The Ten Commandments: vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P78.HTM
The Catechism explains mortal sins here: vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P6C.HTM
Sin in general is explained in The Catechism here as well: vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a8.htm#IV
This summary of the Sacrament Of The Eucharist may help as well: vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P44.HTM
To receive the sacrament one should be in a state of grace and free from mortal sin.
By God’s grace we have the Sacrament Of Reconciliation (again a summary): vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P4I.HTM so that we may return to a state of grace.
Understanding sin and the nature of it is a key to recognizing it – regardless of what form it might take.
While a so-called “definitive, detailed” list would be tricky at best and out of date the moment it is issued as new evil appears and mutates everyday. A so-called “detailed, definitive list” could be deceiving as well: “it must not be a sin because it isn’t on the list”, for example.
However, all mortal sin finds its way back to breaking one of the Ten Commandments.
Study and know the Ten Commandments.
Here is a great list from Fr. Ripperger.
He gives a long list of sins based from the 10 Commandments. I do believe all the sins on that list are “grave matter,” so they possibly could be mortal.
For a sin to be mortal:
- it must be ‘grave matter’
- done with ‘full knowledge’ that it was grave
When you go to confession, confess all you can off that list and the priest will help you decide if they are mortal.
Is worshipping God possible with a mortal sin on your soul? Does God still hear and answer our prayers?
Read the Catechism. It will refer you to Scripture and full documents to help you understand sin.
Of course God hears everyone – even when stained with mortal sin. If in such a state one would be wise with the gift of Earthly time to pray for healing, reconciliation. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is at least part of His answer. He desires one to be with Him in a state of Grace.
Thanks for asking the question,
There is no access to God (by prayer) without first a proper repentance, meaning performing a Perfect Act of Contrition or Sacrament of Penance/Reconcilation. [See prayer at bottom of my post]. Since, a perfect Act of Contrition of is so rare among us- you need to always go to Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation as soon as possible. This sacrament disposes a supernatural gift of ‘perfect contrition’ for your sins, then you have free access to God by your prayers.
Contrition- sorrow for sins, when it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else.
Attrition- sorrow for sins, primarily because you fear judgment or other punishments.
For contrition to be perfect you must have more contrition than attrition. Since this is so rare (if we are brutally honest with ourselves), you have to the intent to seek the sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation as soon as possible for access to God through prayer. That means, possibly going that day to Confession.
Let’s look at the Catechism,
1451 Among the penitent’s acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is "sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again."50
1452 When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called “perfect” (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible.51
1453 The contrition called “imperfect” (or “attrition”) is also a gift of God, a prompting of the Holy Spirit. It is born of the consideration of sin’s ugliness or the fear of eternal damnation and the other penalties threatening the sinner (contrition of fear). Such a stirring of conscience can initiate an interior process which, under the prompting of grace, will be brought to completion by sacramental absolution. By itself however, imperfect contrition cannot obtain the forgiveness of grave sins, but it disposes one to obtain forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance.52
1454 The reception of this sacrament ought to be prepared for by an examination of conscience made in the light of the Word of God. The passages best suited to this can be found in the Ten Commandments, the moral catechesis of the Gospels and the apostolic letters, such as the Sermon on the Mount and the apostolic teachings.53
1455 The confession (or disclosure) of sins, even from a simply human point of view, frees us and facilitates our reconciliation with others. Through such an admission man looks squarely at the sins he is guilty of, takes responsibility for them, and thereby opens himself again to God and to the communion of the Church in order to make a new future possible.
1456 Confession to a priest is an essential part of the sacrament of Penance: "All mortal sins of which penitents after a diligent self-examination are conscious must be recounted by them in confession, even if they are most secret and have been committed against the last two precepts of the Decalogue; for these sins sometimes wound the soul more grievously and are more dangerous than those which are committed openly."54
FYI: My Act of Contrition Prayer
"Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended you through my sins, because of my sins I deserve just judgment for my sins and punishment, but primarily I am sorry for my sins because thou art all good and deserving of all my love. I desire a firm amendment of my life to sin no more, confession of my sins, and will perform acts of penance to make amendment for the sins against Thee. Oh please Father, look at Christ’s propitiatory sacrifice for appeasement and not my sins."
The Church most certainly provides the resources, through Scripture, the Catechism, classes ( youth and adult) and priests and counselors such that any individual Catholic, all things equal and considered, should be able to determine if said Catholic is currently in a state of mortal sin.
Unfortunately, there are Catholics who will not utilize the resources. There are Catholics who will misuse the resources. There are Catholics who will use the resources correctly but not understand. There are Catholics who will use and understand, but not accept the decision. So the fact that we could and should both know if we are in mortal sin and (if we are) should be refraining from the Eucharist until we have made a valid confession and are free to do so again means diddly unless the given Catholic **accepts this.
**IOW: ‘knowing’ the right thing to do doesn’t ensure that a person will DO the right thing. Having the Church give us the resources to ‘do the right thing’ doesn’t mean any given person will do the right thing. It’s up to the person.
Here are some actual check lists. I do not know how accurate they are now but can give you an idea about the extent of the ten commandments. You definitely want to verify them and apply them to your individual circumstance. They have helped me, I am a newer Catholic, to understand the difference between some of the sins and what they meant.
I would not recommend that site…I do not have time to go through their list but I rather would refer to the Catechism (as you also did on the post) and other known to be sound works. And there can be various things that are simply a rather subjective opinion of the writer not something reflected in the moral theology etc. And something may not note there is also possible ‘smallness’ of matter in something etc
But there is a list of sins of grave matter which, if done with full intent and knowledge, would be mortal.