Near occasion of sin?


#1

Is putting yourself in a situation where you are likely to get thoughts (which you rarely consent to, at least fully) a mortal sin? IOW, is that the same as putting yourself in a near occasion of sin?


#2

It is not in itself a mortal sin to put yourself in a near occasion of sin. (only if you do so with the intent of committing a mortal sin resulting from the occasion would this in itself be gravely sinful.)

Some near occasions of sin are necessary in everyday life and do not need to be avoided. Others are unneccessary and should be avoided. Discerning the difference is important. A confessor can help in doing so, especially if one struggles with scruples (some may infer from the nature of your question that you struggle with scruples).


#3

A near occasion of sin, by definition, is one that generally leads you or others with the same moral strength to commit a sin. If doing whatever it is that you are doing only “rarely” leads you to sin, then it isn’t a near occasion of sin.

That said, however, if it is not a necessary occasion that is generally unavoidable, then why bother with it, especially if it has before led you to sin? Do a penance, offer that thought or action to our Lord for the protection of Christians in Iraq, and think or do something else.


#4

One does not need do to so “with the intent of committing mortal sin” to commit a mortal sin in so doing.

Yes proximate (near) occasions of sin can be also sinful to enter into or remain in. And this can be venial and it can be also grave. (there can be though various variables that can go into things…).

A clear example of grave would be that someone knows that they will commit some certain mortal sin if they do or to go Q (at least morally certain I would think) …they need to avoid doing or going to Q. If they knowingly with full knowledge and complete consent do or go to Q…well they can commit a mortal sin…even if they escape without committing the mortal sin that they were certain they would commit. Even if they do not intend to commit sin.

(the same qualities needed for other mortal sin…are needed here too…)


#5

Occasions of sin…

There are all sorts of remote occasions of sin in life…all sorts of possible good things that one can do --where there is a possibility that some temptation may come. We would have to lock avoid many good things in life to avoid all those --and maybe knock ourselves unconscious…

(not saying here one does not still seek to avoid such often…one judges prudently such things…it can be quite good to “flee temptation”.)

Certainly though one is to avoid the near occasion of mortal sin.

We are obliged to avoid near occasions of mortal sin (usually more the focus is on such in this sort of question).

What though is a near occasion of mortal sin?

It is not simply temptation (though let us seek to avoid temptations-reasonably).

A near occasion of mortal sin is such where one would generally falls into mortal sin -one generally commits a mortal sin (or even always!)–or is what is likely to cause one to commit a particular mortal sin now. Due to the nature of thing itself or ones particular weakness.

Though there can at times be good reasons to be in them…ones confessor can guide one (necessary occasions…which one still tries to make more remote…)


#6

It is important not to think one has already committed some mortal sin…when one has committed no sin or a venial sin…and that there are lots of temptations out there …which are not per se near occasions of sin…so do not be unduly concerned.

Yes as Jesus said “watch” and “pray” but this does not mean of course to have needless anxiety either…


#7

And since you mention “unwanted thoughts” I will re-post an older post of mine.

All sorts of thoughts can happen to us out of the blue…

The fact that a though happened to one- does not mean per se there was any sin.

And for mortal sin one needs not only grave matter, but full knowledge and deliberate (complete) consent…

(And some need some medical/professional assistance in this area…such as medication etc and often a regular confessor )

Now…

For the next few moments --try real hard NOT to think of an Apple.

then scroll down.

What did you think of?

An apple.

Even though your will was against it -you did not want to think of an apple.

Now back to unwanted thoughts…

The best thing to do with such thoughts is not to fight them directly --not fear that they will come—simply do not consent and simply and calmly turn to something else…(or it may be best to keep doing the good thing one is doing…like they come out of the blue when your at work …keep working …etc)

(one can gently - conversi ad Dominum - turn towards the Lord -perhaps with a look of love or a short prayer which is a very ancient practice - pm me if you if you need more).

Ignore such unwanted thoughts like one would ignore a hissing goose or a barking dog. One does not stop to argue with a hissing goose or a barking dog does one? No one keeps on walking…and at most laughs at them…

(as noted above the image there comes from a Carthusian Monk from centuries ago…)


#8

One does not need do to so “with the intent of committing mortal sin” to commit a mortal sin in so doing.

Yes proximate (near) occasions of sin can be also sinful to enter into or remain in. And this can be venial and it can be also grave. (there can be though various variables that can go into things…).

A clear example of grave would be that someone knows that they will commit some certain mortal sin if they do or to go Q (at least morally certain I would think) …they need to avoid doing or going to Q. If they knowingly with full knowledge and complete consent do or go to Q…well they can commit a mortal sin…even if they escape without committing the mortal sin that they were certain they would commit. Even if they do not intend to commit sin.

(the same qualities needed for other mortal sin…are needed here too…)
[/quote]

You may disagree, but I would suggest what you have said is essentially the equivalent of what I said - though perhaps I should have expanded.

That is to say, if you know you will commit a particular grave sin in a given situation, and you choose with full knowledge and complete consent to place yourself in that situation (without sufficiently proportionate good reason), then there is intent.

I have also seen it expressed that if one “hopes” to commit a certain sin by placing themselves in a known occasion for that sin, then that is itself sinful. Here again hope could be considered the equivalent of intent.

Or to put it another way: one cannot sin without intent.


#9

Yes I disagree. The person could honestly say they do not intend to commit that mortal sin - intent to do so is not required there.

But yes it may also be true that a person may
“hope” to commit a certain sin by doing so. But that may not be the case. They may honestly intend to avoid that sin - but knowingly and deliberately place themselves in that situation *(readers will need to read my other posts here for full context) for some other reason entirely. Some other intention.


#10

Yes, it is a mortal sin to put yourself in the near occasion of committing a mortal sin. People will tell you that it is not a mortal sin, but they are wrong. Just ask a traditional priest who knows the teaching of the Catholic Church; he will tell you that is it is a mortal sin. God bless you.


#11

It can be.


#12

In which case it is dubious to say it is mortal sin. Generally moral theologians will recognise that one can place themselves into a known occasion for mortal sin, without it being mortal sin in itself. There is a responsibility to attempt to make this near occasion a remote occasion, say through prayer, but there is recognition that sometimes the near occasion to mortal sin can be entered without that act being itself a mortal sin.

Again, intent is crucial, as it always is when discussing actual sin.

If one is to say that entering a near occasion is mortal sin in one case and not another, what is it that separates the two? The necessity of the occasion is one element, but intent ( consent to the likelihood of committing the mortal sin) is the key issue.


#13

I repeat what I have already noted :slight_smile:

Being in a near occasion of mortal sin can be sinful - venial or mortal or it can be no sin at all.

But it is not only intent as I noted.

Do I need to intend to commit that mortal sin that the near occasion is a near occasion for? No.

But it is true there can be good reasons to be in a near occasion of mortal sin (say a policeman in his duty) though one needs to seek to make it more remote by as you note prayer etc.


#14

No, actually the Church teaches that it is a mortal sin to put oneself in the near occasion of committing a mortal sin – the Church does not teach that it can be. God bless you.


#15

Please cite where the Church teaches this.

I know of no such teaching. It is to a fair degree a matter of open debate among theologians, as far as I can tell.


#16

Such is not the case - there is no such teaching.

One *could *commit a mortal sin by putting oneself into a near occasion of mortal sin - yes such is possible. Like to give a clear example of such - I know that if I go to Y I will commit mortal sin T - I am certain that such will happen.

But putting oneself into a near occasion of mortal sin is not necessarily a mortal sin per se - (it can be sinful and stupid still though).

There could also be venial sin or even no sin (such as say a necessary occasion of a policeman etc).


#17

I repeat what I have already noted :slight_smile:

Being in a near occasion of mortal sin can be sinful - venial or mortal or it can be no sin at all.

But it is not only intent as I noted.

Do I need to intend to commit that mortal sin that the near occasion is a near occasion for? No.

But it is true there can be good reasons to be in a near occasion of mortal sin (say a policeman in his duty) though one needs to seek to make it more remote by as you note prayer etc.


#18

Such is not the case - such is not the Teaching of the Church

One *could *commit a mortal sin by putting oneself into a near occasion of mortal sin - yes such is possible. Like to give a clear example of such - I know that if I go to Y I will commit mortal sin T - I am certain that such will happen.

(with full knowledge and deliberate consent of course).

But putting oneself into a near occasion of mortal sin is not necessarily a mortal sin per se - (it can be sinful and stupid still though).

There could also be venial sin or even no sin (perhaps such as say a necessary occasion of a policeman etc).


#19

As I asked, if intent is not the issue (which I still will argue, perhaps you have a source that clarifies your position), what is it that makes one near occasion of sin a mortal sin to enter, while another no sin at all?

You have said that it can be grave sin and that it can be no sin, but have not provided any basis for determining the difference. Please clarify your position.

You have also said that deliberate consent must be present. How is this different from intent? As far as I know the terms are used interchangably in moral theology, but if they have different meanings that are important here please clarify, noting a source preferably. And just to add to this question, the term voluntary is typically used in discussions of near occasions of sin, so this is another term that needs consideration, and clarification if it is to be argued that voluntary means something different in this discussion than intended or consented.


#20

You are wrong, Bookcat, and do not know the Church’s teaching on near occasion of sin and culpability. Even if one does not commit a mortal sin when putting oneself in the near occasion of committing a mortal sin one still has committed a mortal sin (of putting oneself in danger of committing mortal sin). If one puts oneself in the near occasion of committing a venial sin, then one would not be guilty of anything mortal. God bless you.


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