Mortal sin by thought


I strongly disagree. How miserable would one’s life be if you had to maintain G-rated thoughts your whole life. What about when reading a novel or playing a role playing game? Your mind is your own world when you can literally think and use your imagination to do or be anything you wish. What matters is your words and actions in real life your thoughts are your own and yours alone.


When you said how miserable it would be to have G rated thoughts your whole life, think about this, Theresa of Avila said there are few souls on Earth that wouldn’t even want to commit the least venial sins. This is a holy, a saint goal to have as Catholics. We should all be striving not to sin with even the smallest venial sins ever


I suffered from scrupulosity alot. My personal understanding is that you are generally correct. The only thing I’d say is that B might not be a sin at all. You can’t, as far as I know, mindlessly commit a sin of commission.

No one has 100% control of the thoughts that pop into their head.


As mentioned earlier one’s thoughts and Imagination should never be limited. And one’s own personal thoughts are not sins. Only actions and words matter


Just thoughts are not sins, but its called a temptation,the occasion of sin,but if we keep lingering on lustful thoughts, when given heed to such things, can lead you to further sins, willfully and end up in self abuse which is a mortal sin.

Sirach 37:18 The mind is the root of all conduct; it sprouts four branches good and evil, life and death;and it is the tongue that continually rules them.

James 1:13 No one, when tempted, should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one. 14 But one is tempted by one’s own desire, being lured and enticed by it; 15 then, when that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and that sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved.


Lustful thoughts can lead to lustful actions or at the VERY LEAST they sexually excite us and this excitement is suppose to be saved for marriage.

What you think about influences what you do, ideas are powerful. Therefore we must guard our thoughts.

I’ve seen studies that show most serial killers are addicted to porn, masturbation, and think about sex and rape all the time. Clearly their thoughts caused them to sin mortally. Therefore, we can’t endulge these thoughts.

As I said earlier, the thought itself isn’t a sin, Jesus was tempted by the devil. But giving into these thoughts and enjoying them is a perversion of morality


That is definitely false equivalency as I can guarantee you that 99% of teenagers are thinking about sex 99% of the time.

So the thought itself is not sinful


I just said the thought itself is not sinful. We can’t control how our mind wanders but intentionally staying on the thought for 5 minutes and enjoying it is wrong.

Logic: masturbation is wrong, imagining naked women tempts you to masturbate, therefore it is wrong.

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.” - Mark 9:42

Jesus is very clear here that anything that causes you to sin is a sin. Just because lots of people have impure thoughts doesn’t mean the thoughts are good. They are called impure for a reason. Yes we have the thoughts but that doesn’t mean we should dwell on them.

This logic would say it’s fine for people to think about rape because hey, they aren’t actually raping anyone…


Matt 5:27-28 - “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

Feels to me like this is definitely referring to thoughts and Jesus clearly condemns such thoughts. This would be a case of “A” as I mentioned above.


Whoa, lots if contradictory ideas here. so the thoughts are impure but are not sins in your opinion? What about the person that is obviously thinking about sex all the time but does not masturbate? I think imagination is not limited or Bound by rules and should never be. So yes even thinking about murder rape pillaging, Dungeons & Dragons, whatever, is not a sin at all but your own thoughts. The exact same reasoning for reading books or watching Rated R movies. They’re not real.

But going back to sexual thoughts it’s quite a long stretch and not very fair to always associate sexual thoughts or masturbation with criminal sexual assault.


What he means is that there are times were thoughts can fly into your head without provocation or approval. So long as you don’t entertain them, they’re not sinful, even if the thought contains sinful activity or ideas.

I’m assuming here this person allows him/herself to think lustful thoughts and wants to do so. That would be sinful.


Pretty much. Mortal sin requires an act of the will. Intrusive thoughts don’t involve the will until you chose to dwell on them.


Yes, it is not inherently sinful to think about anything. But one can sin in one’s thoughts, through which one commits the will to a disordered act. It is sinful to plan a murder, for instance.


That’s like saying porn is fine because it’s not real. Wrong


Think about this for a second.
Right at this moment there is a person (probably young male) fantasizing about killing a bunch of people. IF he acts, the act is born in the movement of his will to entertain the subject. The act doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The act is formed in the thoughts or imagination, and the person chooses to entertain and encourage it, or fight it off.
You can translate this to a lot of different dangerous fantasies. Sexual violence, Arson. etc…
Does this put the matter in a different light?

(I am not making an equivalence between masturbation and murder, ok? I am addressing your assertion that willfully entertaining thoughts cannot be sinful)

While it’s true that morality evaluates acts not mere temptations or thoughts, the will can be active in these things. An act is not limited to overt physical actions.
I would say that every sin I commit begins with some form of “just a little bit is ok, I can let my guard down…” even while


I would say that is more false equivalency. Think about this for a second: right now millions of kids are murdering millions of people in their video games or watching violent movies thus the thoughts of murder last insects are in their head but it is not real and they are not acting upon it in real life that is a big difference here.


What do you mean false equivalency? What am I equating with what?

If you read the post again, do you think that killers have considered their acts before they perform the physical act?


This. Example: “thou shalt not covet”


I’m saying it does not matter at all what the criminal is thinking about. What matters is the harmful action itself. Similarly one can think absolutely anything they want dream fantasize use their imagination and none of that matters. What matters is their actions and words.


So you have no problem with the fact that right now, the next mass murderer is entertaining, thinking about, planning, and fantasizing about mass murder?
You have no problem with that…

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