Most Catholic Incapable of Mortal Sin?

Over in the venerable Eastern Christian forum, a rather bizarre comment by an ex-Catholic who serves as a priest from the Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia:was offered that I thought might be more appropriately pursued in this forum…


:rolleyes: Fr. A was pulling you leg.

Though I’m sure there are some of us who might wish that were so.

If and when these sorts of statements are made, they deserve to be examined…

I have invited him to come over here and discuss it in this forum… Maybe we can get a clear idea of what was meant by this or if he really does think that to be the case…

Suits me. Still it seems like he was pulling your leg.:shrug:

He’d have to prove it to me and then I’d still doubt it.

He is right, most catholics know nothing about church doctrine, they just know ‘don’t use condoms’, ‘don’t do this’, ‘don’t do that’, they don’t know the reasons why and etc.

He is right, most catholics are not capable of committing a mortal sin. They are grave sins, but they aren’t mortal because they really have no idea about the seriousness of the sin.

People who have never heard of Christ are quite capable of committing mortal sin by violating the Natural Law that God has written on every human heart.

They don’t have to be theologians. They don’t have to be Canon lawyers.

They don’t have to have encyclopedic knowledge of every nuance of what makes such acts bad and they don’t have to write treatisies an what makes them serious.

And they don’t have to be examined by Church psychiatrists–swear out affadavits of their consent–and then have their consent verified by the Pope to constitute full consent.

Peope who believe that no one can have full knowledge or give full consent are being fooled by the devil whose wish is that they don’t ever think that they have mortally sinned so he can take them to Hell!

Don’t fall for that trap!

If hardly no one was capable of giving full consent or of having full knowledge then no one would committ a mortal sin and everyone would go to Heaven and we know that is not true because Jesus said “The road to eternal life is narrow and few there are that find it”.

Listen to do this and write it on your heart–anyone who ever diminshes the gravity of sin should not be believed and is of the devil.

Anyone who says that it is very hard to committ mortal sin is not telling the truth.

And if you don’t know if what I’m saying is true or not just ask yourself “Am I willing to bet my soul on it?”

How dumb would that be?

And if mortal sin was so rare why would Paul tell us to “Work out our salvation with fear and trembling”?

I’ll tell you this–if you ever meet anyone who isn’t concerned about mortal sin and is not trembling or working out their salvation–guess what?

You’ve met someone who is outside the will of God.

Don’t listen to them!

He has said that stuff a few times before. The problem is it is not true because he is misunderstanding what “knowledge” and “consent” mean with the term “full” tacked on. The term “full” is misleading. It doesnt mean “full” in the sense you are a trained theologian and sat down to calculate before you decided to sin. A better term is “sufficient consent”, considering we are fallen and constantly tempted and struggle there is no such thing as “100% full knowledge” and “100% full consent”.
If a Catholic knows something is grave matter, like contraception, and goes ahead and engages then that is mortal sin.

My response to him when he brought that up a while ago was to admit to him I have committed mortal sin before, and Im not a theologian by any means.

It is very easy to commit a mortal sin. It is one free choice away. Take adultery. That is completely possible for most Catholics. And yes, that one they do know is wrong.

Of course, virtuous habits help. So does the Eucharist. There are defenses, and they are enough.

Originally Posted by Fr Ambrose
This is not such a special thing since most Catholics lead lives free from mortal sin.

Most Catholics are not able to satisfy the essential requirements of “full knowledge” and “full concent.” About the only ones who can might be well-trained Jesuits but the run-of-the-mill Catholic has very little chance of committing a mortal sin.

Fr Ambrose, and many of the Orthodox which post in that forum seem to have no purpose to their posts but to raise “questions” that they already know the correct “Catholic” answer to.

The reason they do this, IMO, is to turn people away from Catholicism without being obvious about it, and hope that Orthodoxy gets a catch. Quite often, I suspect, all that happens is that people lose faith in Christianity and faith in God altogether. I can’t believe that God is thrilled when this happens.

They think they are being clever by using insinuation and innuendo , or pretending to be witty to avoid being obviously anti-Catholic. Please see the definitions of insinuate and innuendo below, from

Main Entry: in·sin·u·ate
1 a : to introduce (as an idea) gradually or in a subtle, indirect, or covert way b : to impart or suggest in an artful or indirect way : IMPLY <I resent what you’re insinuating>

Main Entry: in·nu·en·do
1 a : an oblique allusion : HINT, INSINUATION; especially : a veiled or equivocal reflection on character or reputation b : the use of such allusions

Perhaps I’m wrong, but it sure comes across this way in MANY of Fr Ambrose’s and other Orthodox posts.

Jerry that is one of the best Posts I have EVER read on here. Bravo for stating the faith so clearly. BTW are you a Theologian?:stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:

Grave sins ARE mortal sins. Ignorance is not an excuse for those who have reached the age of reason because they have a duty to know, understand and believe what the church teaches.

If any one sin, and do any of the things which Jehovah hath commanded not to be done, though he knew it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity.

[RIGHT]-- Leviticus 5:17[/RIGHT]

Well it seems to me that the Church would disagree with you on that one, Sir. You posted that on another thread to, and it’s hogwash. Yes, we are supposed to study/know what the Church teaches, but that doesn’t mean that every grave sin committed by anyone over the age of 7 is a mortal sin that could send them to Hell.

If that were true then why would EVERY SINGLE PLACE you go to look for a definition of mortal sin include the THREE necessary elements (grave matter, full knowledge, and complete consent of the will)?

If what you are saying is true, why don’t those sources only include “grave matter and being older than 7” as the requirements for mortal sin?

Exactly - we are to learn and study what the Church teaches, within reason. We are not obliged to, as a previous poster has said, become doctors of moral theology or anything.

Besides which, you must know by now what study involves in practice - on lots of questions you could ask four priests or scholars (or, dare I say it, past Popes?) and get six different opinions :wink:

I don’t know if he is right or wrong, but have you talked to Catholic students at Catholic colleges and what they think about contraception, abortion, attending Mass every Sunday? According to a poll I saw at a Catholic Jesuit college, when the students come into the college in their freshman year, the majority take the official Catholic position on issues such as these. However, the results are dramatically different when the same questions are asked of graduating seniors. After four years of Catholic theology with Catholic Jesuit professors, according to poll I saw, more than 90 percent believe that the use of artificial contraception is not a sin, and similarly for the other issues. So if Catholics are being brainwashed by Catholic Jesuit priests into believing that these things are not sinful, then they won’t have full consent and so it looks like they will not be committing a mortal sin if they use contraception.

Noi it does. It actually supports what I say in the CCC …
*]1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. Yet it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed.

1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man “takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.” In such cases, ****the person is culpable for the evil he commits.[/LIST]

If that is hogwash than what makes another part of the CCC (like the definitio of mortal sin, for example) not hogwash?

There are things that we are REASONABLY suppose to know and make an effort in knowing.

Why would the CCC tell us that ignorance is no excuse if it is?

Because it gave the teaching on ignorance not being an excuse EARLIER. That teaching doesn’t suddenly become null & void. Otherwise, where would it ever apply?

Rubbish, how about abortion? There are people who get swayed away by pro-choice ads, then they find out the real reasons why abortion is wrong, from a Christian perspective. THEN they know the seriousness of it, if they allow it, then it’s a mortal sin.

Do not presume to know people’s minds, and do not take the scriptures which you have been referring to out of context.

Yes, within reason. If I didn’t make that clear earlier, then I apologize.

We are not obliged to become doctors of moral theology or anything but we ARE obligated to have an understanding of what our faith teaches and abide by it. We can’t go around saying *“I didn’t know that.”

*As the CCC says … **when a man “takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.” In such cases, ****the person is culpable for the evil he commits.

**… [FONT=Arial]that teaching has to be COMBINED with the defintion of mortal sin – not treated seperately.

Concerning abortion do not the scriptures say “thou shalt no kill”.

Tell me how killing a human being with a soul is not a grave matter!

Tell me how reading the scripture “thou shalt not kill” and applying it to abortion would be out of context?

That would be taking it completely in context.

So let me get this straight–if I kill someone and in any of our courts around america claim that i don’t understand why killing is wrong–in fact I think that it is right–are you going to tell me that the court would be dumbe enough to say "You know we believe you when you say that it comes from your heart thwerefore we do not condemn you and now set you free?

Of course not! No court or judge would be that dumb!

But you’re going to tell me that God who does write the natural law on every human heart would be Dumb enough to believe the same excuse from someone who obtained an abortion?

Is God really that dumb! I don’t think so! I do think that even though it may not be possible for me to know the heart of every person it is possible for God to know the heart of every person and for the overwhelming majority of persons–they would indeed know–because of the conscience that God gives everyman–that abortion is wrong.

It is grave. It is a sin that cries out to Heaven as the scriptures say. It is preached as wrong not only by Catholics but Protestants, Moslems, and Jews!

Don’t tell me that people don’t ever hear such teachings!

And don’t tell me that when they whip out the cash for one that they’re not giving consent–don’t tell me that they don’t know what they’re doing.

If they don’t know what they’re doing–why would any civilized nation or civilization let them do it?!

Now I’m not saying that it isn’t possible for a person to not know better and because of that to not mortally sin.

Say a Protestant never in their entire life ever heard of the Catholic faith or that we should try to exercise penance during Lent.

It would not be a Mortal sin for the Protestant not to do so. It would be if they did know the truth of the Catholic Church’s teaching and the responsibility of obeying the church.

Bottom line: grave matter is no big deal–disobey any of the ten commandments and you’ve done something that is a grave matter–knowledge is no big deal either–stealing is wrong for example–even atheists know that–and last of all consent is not that difficult either–even children of 10 years of age can Choose to do wrong–are you going to tell me that adults can’t?

The reason people get upset when you point these things out is that they’re the Catholic version of Protestant mortal sin deniers–but instead of saying that mortal sin doesn’t exist–they just maintain that it is difficult to do!

Same Satan–same dumb arguments–same pathway to Hell! Avoid the easy road that either says there isn’t any mortal sin or that it is difficult to committ. Both ideas are wrong and are of the devil!

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