mortal sin? Maybe TMI


I’m not quite sure what this is as far as mortal or venial but here goes.

I’m unmarried, and I used a donor to conceive {no intercourse involved}. It’s not adultery right? Is it a mortal sin?

for the background, I have MS, Kyphosis, and something else {MD has no idea what it is} and I was told if I wanted to ever have children I had better do it NOW vs. waiting to find Mr. Right because I might not live that long or be able to carry a child then either. We discovered while I was pregnant that the kyphosis {Which causes severe heart and lung issues} lessened greatly, and now my MD is talking about me being able to avoiding being fused from skull to hips if I were to be braced in pregnancy.


Dakota, I’m so sorry your medical condition brought you to choose a procedure that is not approved by the Church. This is definitely something you need to address with your confessor. These two articles - one of which is the Church’s official teaching on the matter - will, I hope, help you see what your decision should have been more seriously considered:


. . . .


Human embryos obtained in vitro are human beings and subjects with rights: their dignity and right to life must be respected from the first moment of their existence. It is immoral to produce human embryos destined to be exploited as disposable “biological material”. In the usual practice of in vitro fertilization, not all of the embryos are transferred to the woman’s body; some are destroyed. Just as the Church condemns induced abortion, so she also forbids acts against the life of these human beings. It is a duty to condemn the particular gravity of the voluntary destruction of human embryos obtained ‘in vitro’ for the sole purpose of research, either by means of artificial insemination of by means of “twin fission”. By acting in this way the researcher usurps the place of God; and, even though he may be unaware of this, he sets himself up as the master of the destiny of others inasmuch as he arbitrarily chooses whom he will allow to live and whom he will send to death and kills defenceless human beings.

Methods of observation or experimentation which damage or impose grave and disproportionate risks upon embryos obtained in vitro are morally illicit for the same reasons. every human being is to be respected for himself, and cannot be reduced in worth to a pure and simple instrument for the advantage of others. It is therefore not in conformity with the moral law deliberately to expose to death human embryos obtained ‘in vitro’. In consequence of the fact that they have been produced in vitro, those embryos which art not transferred into the body of the mother and are called “spare” are exposed to an absurd fate, with no possibility of their being offered safe means of survival which can be licitly pursued.


This idea, that a child has the right to be created by God through a specific personal act, is especially stressed in Donum Vitae:
Conception in vitro is the result of the technical action that presides over fertilization. . . . The generation of the human person is objectively deprived of its proper perfection: namely, that of being the result and fruit of a conjugal act in which the spouses can become “cooperators with God for giving life to a new person.” These reasons enable us to understand why the act of conjugal love is . . . the only setting worthy of human procreation (DV II, 5).
To conceive a child through a technological process that replaces the conjugal act is to subject him to the “standards of control and dominion” inherent to the scientific method. As such, the baby becomes an object of micromanipulation rather than the fruit of a personal union sanctified by God.

My prayers are with you and your baby.


Conception from a sperm donor is seriously wrong, for several reasons. First, a child should only be conceived as a result of the marital act. Second, the process for obtaining donor sperm usually involves masturbation, another seriously sinful act. I don’t think, however, that it could be adultery by any stretch of the imagination.

Whether you are guilty of serious sin for doing this is an entirely different question. The fact that you need to ask indicates that you did not have the full knowledge necessary for committing a mortal sin.

In your other posts you have told us that you are returning to the Church after a long absence. It would be best for you to mention this in your first confession, even though it may not strictly be a mortal sin. You can receive guidance and a better understanding of the situation.

Welcome home.



At this point, I would just be praying for a healthy, happy baby. I mean - really - at this point - what’s the option? It’s not undoable or anything. You and God can have a personal discussion about it in the after-life, but I can’t imagine you have made a mortal sin! It might not be a bad idea to chat with your priest for guidance. I hope everything goes well for you and the baby :slight_smile: and congrats, of course :slight_smile:


I’d second the opinion that at the time you did it you didn’t know it was against Church teaching. Therefore it is not a mortal sin.

Do bring it up in confession though, just for advice if nothing else.


Obviously what’s done is done so you should welcome this child joyously and lovingly like any child “conceived in sin.”

However, the lesson to be learned is that God knows what’s best for us. If we haven’t been married yet and/or we don’t ever have children, we accept that as God’s will for us in faith and bear whatever crosses associated with it.


Yes, it is a violation of the sixth commandment against adultery (actually the sixth commandment speaks to all sins against chastity and the marital embrace).

Yes, it is grave matter. A mortal sin requires full knowledge and free will. I don’t know if you met these criteria-- you should discuss it in confession with your priest. However, since you did this before trying to find out church teaching, perhaps deep down you did know it was wrong. Talk to your priest.

While I understand your stress over your medical condition, and your desire to have a child, children are not property that you have a right to and we may not pursue any and every means to have a child. Children have a right to be born of parents known to them and through the marital embrace.

I encourage you to read the Church document Donum Vitae, which addresses artificial conception.


Hun, don’t worry about it, you are trying to bring a baby that you would love and treasure with all your heart.

If you are a good person,which we have no reason to think you are not, I think God would want to reward with you with something to love and treasure.


However, NOT through sin.

What’s done is done, and is said earlier, can’t be undone. Make the best of the situation. Confess the sin and be done with it. Next time, when in doubt consult the Church.:slight_smile:
When the child comes love him/her, and raise him/her in the Holy Faith. My prayers are with you and your unborn child.


Ya, whats done is done, but from the point of view of this child, what is to happen to it if your health continues to deteriorate. With no father in the picture you will have given birth to a child slated for orphanhood. I do not mean to be unkind, as being somewhat handicapped myself, I have a great deal of sympathy for you. You really need to make provision for what happens if you go to your maker sooner rather than later.


Sometimes,you just have to follow your heart and take chances in life.


I would consult your priest as to your culpability and whether the sin is mortal or not.

I would challenge you a bit and ask what is the difference between what you did and say a woman in her late 30s who for whatever reason has not found Mr. Right and decides to get artificially inseminated? This next thing may sound a little harsh; however, who gives one the right to willfully deny a child a father?

Nevertheless, I do celebrate the life you have conceived. That life is a very good thing and deserves all the love you have to offer.


However, you never want to take a chance that endangers your soul.


People are gonna have different views of what would and would not endanger one’s soul.


Yes. Your statement is exactly true on the face of it: People do have different views about what is right and what is wrong.

That’s precisely why we must try to discern what is the real truth of the matter and why we must do what is really right.

Thankfully, a coherent and honest examination of the natural law and the Church’s interpretation of the content of God’s Revelation both indicate clearly that artificial insemination as described above is gravely wrong.


And I second this!



I think that debate will go on and on.


The Church has spoken, there is no debate. Either for God or not for God; “you cannot serve both God and mammon.” Jesus Christ.


And often it is better to follow your head, follow the rules, and confess when you have not done so.


I believe God and only God is perfect, maybe the Catholic Church is wrong.

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