Mortal and venial sins, blurry?

I know that the church defines specific things as mortal sins. Such as pornography that I seem to have an ongoing problem with. It’s just back and forth. Now could anxiety, social problems ec cetra change culpability for that as well as I know is the case in masturbation. I am tired of sinning, penance and needing confession. But I don’t always know if I take communion if I am eating life or death.
Any input?

You need to discuss this with your confessor. No one can give you any advise accept to speak personally with your confessor. His response will apply to you and only you.

May God Lead you to His Peace.

Search this RECLAiM’s website to help you and for accountability.

May you find the graces to escape the traps you have suffered.

from their website:

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From Steve Wood’s Website:

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Steve Wood’s book Breaking Free 12 Steps to Sexual Purity for Men

Organizations and Resources dealing with Pornography

Pure Mind Scripture Computer Program

When it comes to mortal vs. venial, you need to recall the three conditions for something to be a mortal sin:

–It must be a serious matter
–You must know it is seriously wrong
–You must give adequate consent

Pornography/masturbation certainly fulfills the first item, and presumably you know it’s wrong, so the second item is true. However, you raise a good point which is a HUGE factor regarding the third condition.

The Catechism clearly agrees with you that “anxiety, social problems et cetra change culpability…” In other words, if it’s become a habit and you want to stop it but are having difficulty, then for you that particular instance might not be a mortal sin. (See the last part of paragraph 2352 in the Catechism.)

However, one must be careful not to fool himself/herself and use such mitigating factors as subtle justification for engaging in the sinful act. So as mentioned above, it’s very important to visit with a wise priest who can guide you in the struggle.

It’s definately a habit. From early teens. But do I want to stop? Yes, until enough temptation arises then that can interfere. I know we all have different temptations and this is a frequent one.

Then at least you’re on the right road. I might venture that the habitual factor makes it less than mortal, but it still needs to be combatted as best you can.

In the immediate moments of temptation, ask St. Joseph for help. (Maybe keep a holy picture of St. Joseph right next to your computer.)
And do make an appointment with a priest (or stop in for anonymous confession if you prefer) and tell him that you want to stop the habit. I’m sure he will have good advice.

What does St. Joseph do? I’ve only worked with Mary and the rosary.

Of course Mary and the rosary … but St. Joseph is an excellent model for chastity, fighting temptation, and an all-around exemplar for men. (I’m assuming you are male.)

Yes I am male. Something else I have temptations with is pornography too. I just went to confession about it about a week ago and I felt immediately attacked. My head is confused too now. I’ve never realized Joseph as a saint though for this kind of thing.

Ive always been a bit confused about why people get addicted to masturbation/porn in general. When I was younger and was sowing my wild oats, whenever I had ‘urges’, I would go out alone sometimes or with friends and pick up women. Most of the time we were able to find ‘friends’ for the night, even as I got older, now divorced, but even when I get sexual urges now, I can always meet someone to take care of that, its much better than masturbation, as its the real deal and not fake.

Porn is similar, sure Ive watched it here and there, but I never really got into much, due to it being a WHOLE lot better to go out and get the real thing. For this reason, I cannot understand why people get addicted to porn/masturbation…?? There are bars and clubs in literally every city in the country that are frequented by ‘easy women’, so finding a friend is as easy as picking up carry out dinner LOL

Anyone that has this problem care to explain why they choose something fake over the real deal?

I will give you a suggestion that I think might help:

“How to Resist Temptation” by Fr Francis J Remler

This book answers all the question you just asked.

As for impurity:

“Clean of Heart” by Rosemarie Scott

We all have different temptations and tendancies toward addictions. You mentioned going out with freinds. That’s great! I’ve never had freinds to “go out” with. Masturbation is a anxiety social problem too to some. And it’s chemically addictive.

Bill, pay no attention to mikekle. His comments are, shall we say, inconsistent with Catholic thinking. The most on-target thing he wrote was the very first thing – about himself being confused.

Is it possible that looking at porn could in certain cases be venial. I know the CCC says it’s a mortal sin against chastity but in certain circumstances could “full knowledge” not quite be really full knowledge? Culpability wise?

That would be one to ask a priest.
But remember, it’s best to avoid it even at the first inkling, lest you get into mind games about justifying it, such as, “oh, it’s just venial at this point.”

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