Mortal sin

I have been hearing allot about mortal sins on this forum, i was just wondering if any could provide a catholic source on just what are mortal sins. Also can a catholic be forgiven and return to a state of grace if they truly confess there mortal sin to god, without a priest present?.

Thanks.

CCC 1857 "For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.”

This thread talks about “grave matter”:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=471489

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a very good source for your questions -

vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM
scborromeo.org/ccc.htm (for searching through the Catechism)

Paragraphs 1852-1876 discuss the different kinds of sins - mortal vs venial. For example -

1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.”

1858 Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: "Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother."132 The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft. One must also take into account who is wronged: violence against parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger.

1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.

vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a8.htm

With regard to your question as to whether a Catholic can be forgiven and returned to the state of grace by confessing mortal sins directly to God, yes, it is possible if the contrition is perfect and it involves a resolve to go to sacramental confession as soon as possible -

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.

vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c2a4.htm

Confession with a priest is the means to learning the gravity of our sins and knowing they will be forgiven. It is much too easy to deceive oneself by discerning alone. Most of us go too far in either minimizing or maximizing our own sins.

A person can be forgiven mortal sin by confessing to God alone; however, The Church rules that for Catholics, mortal sin must be subjected to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Matthew Ch16 " And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. [19] And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven."

I posted this length in the baptism thread, but the best explanation I have read is from the Summa Theologica.

newadvent.org/summa/2088.htm

Open link and scroll down to Sins.

scborromeo.org/mobileccc/index/s.htm

See also:

catholic.com/tracts/mortal-sin
catholic.com/tracts/the-forgiveness-of-sins
catholic.com/tracts/grace-what-it-is-and-what-it-does

so there should be alot of confessions going on than. Every time you break one of the 10 commandments you lose gods grace?

thanks for links

There are indeed a lot of Confessions.

As to your second point it depends. Breaking one of the 10 Commandments is a sin of grave matter but it only becomes a mortal sin if you knew that and went ahead and committed the act.
If you did not know a particular act was a sin of grave matter then going ahead with the act would not be a mortal sin.

To commit a mortal sin requires 3 conditions to be satisfied:

  • Grave (serious) matter
  • Full knowledge
  • Full consent of the will

This explanation helped me when I became a Catholic a couple of years back.

saintaquinas.com/mortal_sin.html

Others have answered your questions, but this may be helpful:

Sin that is Mortal Proved from Scripture

1 John 5:16-17
16If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. 17All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

Common sense tells us that there is a big difference between stealing a paperclip from a colleague’s desk and committing genocide. Yet the Protestant pretends that they are equally heinous and equally deserving of eternal damnation. This creates a false piety. Instead of making all sins more serious, it actually trivializes the most grievous sins. After all “In for a penny, in for a pound.” If I am damned anyway for trivia, I might as well be damned for something really juicy. That’s human nature!

Protestants also do not realize how unbiblical their idea that all sin is equally heinous is. We have the quotation from St. John given above which should have been proof enough, but there is more. If all sins are equally bad then in the OT the penalty for every sin would have been the same: DEATH. Instead, the Old Testament describes several ways of atoning for sins and making things right that demonstrate there are different degrees of sin. Only the most heinous sins such as murder or apostasy require the death penalty.

So once again, by using purely man-made standards, the Protestant makes void the word of God.

John 19:11
11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above. For this reason the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”

If there is a “greater” sin, then there must be a “lesser” sin, also.

ouch,yeah alot of confession.

just to clear up a few things. protestant don’t disagree with sin leading to death, for the wages of sin is death, nor do we say a sin wont cause god to take someone out for that sin [many examples in bible].

notice the verse

“There is** a sin** that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. 17All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.”

this is far cry from the catholic articles i read.

you said
“Yet the Protestant pretends that they are equally heinous and equally deserving of eternal damnation”

could you please support this with anything? anything to back it up?. protestants do say all are sinners and separated from god, as does the catholic church, say the same and in need of a savior.

you said
" If all sins are equally bad then in the OT the penalty for every sin would have been the same: DEATH"

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
romans 6.23

but yes some sins are worse than others, just as the bible and protestant teach.

Remember that there is no indefinite article in Greek. It only says “there is sin unto death” in the original text. You would have to assume a lot to argue a point on the basis that your translation says, “a sin.” You would have to assume that there is only one sin not unto death as well. The inteded sense is one of categories. There is (a) sin unto death, viz., mortal sin. Similarly, there is (a) sin not unto death, viz., venial sin.

2 different sins there. One mortal one not. John says one you can pray about for forgiveness, one you can’t.

The Church teaches If one dies in venial sin, he won’t go to hell. Not so for mortal sin. Scripture gives lists of sins that say if one dies in those sins they won’t inherit heaven. ergo THOSE are mortal sins.
[LIST]
*]Titus 3:10-11 Reject a factious ( αἱρετικὸν ) man after a first and second warning, 11knowing that such a man is )perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned ( .αὐτοκατάκριτος) .
*]Ephesians 5: 3-5 fornication, covetousness……5 Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure man, or one who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
*]Hebrews 10:25-26 missing mass (the Eucharist) deliberately on Sunday, no sacrifice for sin for THEM but a fiery judgement that consumes the adversaries of God.
*]Hebrews 12: 16 - 17 immoraliy, is selling your inheritance
*]Galatians 5: 19 - 21 sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions (διχοστασίαι ), factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, will not inherit heaven
*]Romans 16:17… dividers ( διχοστασίαι ) don’t serve our Lord but themselves. Stay away from them. Satan will soon be crushed under your feet
*]Colossians 3: 5-6 immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry, …rath of God is coming
*]1 Corinthians 6: 9 - 10 no sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders ,ἀρσενοκοίτης *[FONT=Trebuchet MS]arsenokoitēs] *[/FONT]10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
*]2 Peter 2:4-22
[/LIST]

Just lots of conversations in this forum over the past seven years. I am not saying that ALL Protestants believe that all sins are equal, but there is no question that some do…they do not want to admit that Catholicism is right about venial and mortal sins.

you said
" If all sins are equally bad then in the OT the penalty for every sin would have been the same: DEATH"

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
romans 6.23

but yes some sins are worse than others, just as the bible and protestant teach.

In the OT, some people were stoned for serious offenses, so that statement stands in that context. But I agree that the Bible and most (but not all) Protestants agree that some sins are worse than others.

very true good point. I do agree there can be sin that leads to mortal death,says nothing of spiritual in my opinion.

I agree there are two types of sin, in fact there are many more types of sins listed in bible.

titus- please read v4-11. in context shows that person is not a believer who is justified by grace v7 and not works v5. Also all it says is they are a sinner,nothing of being a believer and sinning leading to spiritual death. Just pay no attention to them.

Ephesians- read 1 Corinthians 6 9-11.

Hebrews first it says meetings not the mass or the Eucharist. I was taught in study v 26 as saying once you have heard messiah and reject him,animal sacrifice will no longer cover sins. That fits the book of hebrews and intimidate context comparing ot/nt.

Hebrews 12-hmm,no read again, esau sold his inheritance of birth rights.

Galatians please read in context v16-26.

Romans and? these are not believers,or former believers [if one can lose salvation]

1 Corinthians know read v 11, dont stop at 10.

context is everything.

I believe your very wrong on venial and mortal sins as defined by the catholic. I do believe there are sins that can result in physical death from god.

Protestants see all sin as being sin and separated by god,no matter what sin, you need a savior, in that way there the same.

why than do not the ot death penalty sins, match the catholic mortal sins?.
forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?145200-responding-to-common-objections-to-bible-part-5&highlight=

Then why does John make the distinction?

please reread my post,not disagreeing that there are not mortal sins and minor sins.

There should be many more going on, truthfully. Sadly, most Catholics do not take advantage of the sacrament as they should. Many avoid it altogether.

Since all people are going to die, or have already died, then St. John must have been referring to spiritual death, since physical death will befall us all.

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