Mortal/Venial Sin

Hey ya’ll

what have you found that is the easiest way to explain why we believe in ‘levels’ of sin, so to speak? I am writing a paper for a friend on it, and since you all have for experience, I was going to see what does/doesn’t seem to work well. Obviously, I am going to primarily base this on the bible (he isn’t Catholic-RCIA), and get some ECF quotes as well.

You might start here…
and then see if you have more specific questions.

Lets say I’m friends with someone. I can get angry and raise my voice with them once. That hurts our relationship. Or I can steal their significant other and tell them I don’t want to be their friend anyway. That destroys the relationship.

In our relationship with God, we can either hurt it, or completely destroy it. Actions speak louder then words.


1 John 5:15-16 (RSV) - “There is sin which is mortal…but there is sin which is not mortal.

Here’s one place to start. In John 19:10-11, Jesus himself told Pilate that Pilate’s sin was less than that of the Jewish leaders.

Pilate therefore saith to him: Speakest thou not to me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and I have power to release thee?

[font=‘Times New Roman’]Jesus answered: Thou shouldst not have any power against me, unless it were given thee from above. Therefore, he that hath delivered me to thee, hath the greater sin.[/font]
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[font=‘Times New Roman’]This is almost definitely an example of two degrees of mortal sin rather than mortal sin vs. venial sin (although I cannot see Pilate’s conscience nor do I condemn him to hell).[/font]
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[font=‘Times New Roman’]There are many other examples from Sacred Scripture, and I’m sure you can also find ample help in the Catholic Answers tracts.[/font]
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[font=‘Times New Roman’]God bless.[/font]

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