"perpetual sin"

When a person is aware that they are in a valid marriage, and they decide to to marry outside the church this is adultery, but it is perpetual adultery. Doe that mean that it is only one sin or is it a sin on top of a sin adding up perpetually?

Multiple occurrances of adultery/coveting for sexual activity/thoughts, any scandal, and one violation of the precept of the Church to marry according to the laws of the Church.

Can you re-word that? I’m not sure I understand what you just said.

A couple who has become aware that they are living in an invalid marriage is culpable for mortal sin. Continuing the sin indicates that they are not repentant. Thus, the scenario you describe would indicate a grave circumstance. One mortal sin that is also unrepentant is enough to send you to hell.

If the couple becomes aware that they are living in sin, but takes immediate steps to correct it (i.e. stop having sexual relations, see a priest), then their circumstance is much improved.

OK, it is confusing.

There is a precept to marry in the Church, so that is violated once.
There is the scandal of the attempted marriage.
Since the attempted marriage is a non-existant any sexual relations that occur are adultery each time they occur.
There is scandal (temptation) of lust during daily living in the attempted marriage.
There may be multiple scandals to children and others that know about the situation, and if receiving communion, while still living together.

Yes, if there are children involved the Holy See has said there may be an internal forum solution (private confession) possible, if they avoid scandal (of receiving communion) and have no sexual relations and insure that they do not tempt one another sexually. But if there are no children, then they must separate, according to the Holy See, to be able to receive communion.

There is a document on the vatican website from 1994 on this.

And 1981, see items 82-85:

I don’t think that I made my self clear. The marriage may be valid, but the wife left and remarried. There are no children from the marriage, but there are those who know, and or attended a cerimony. Since the separation I have been to confession and am praying, with St Monica, for her to reconcile with the church. But what I was wondering is it one perpetual sin, or are they adding up? Does it matter, I am truely concerned for her as I want to believe that she was trying to live as close to a pious life as possible, I could be wrong and foolish, but I want to keep a loving hope.

Adding up. However for it to be mortal sin she would have to understand that it is a grave matter. I cannot judge her. The prayer is good, I have said a prayer for her also.

If she remarried without a decree of nullity she is commiting adultry. Until she changes her circumstance she will still be commiting adultry. If she is aware of her sin and doesn’t change, she is culpable for mortal sin. Since one mortal sin is enough to go to hell, the number of occurances doesn’t matter.

Repetition does make a difference in how much reparation for that sin is required and how hard it is to break the habit.


1459 Many sins wrong our neighbor. One must do what is possible in order to repair the harm (e.g., return stolen goods, restore the reputation of someone slandered, pay compensation for injuries). Simple justice requires as much. But sin also injures and weakens the sinner himself, as well as his relationships with God and neighbor. Absolution takes away sin, but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused.62 Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must “make satisfaction for” or “expiate” his sins. This satisfaction is also called “penance.”

1473 The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains. While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the “old man” and to put on the "new man."85

**1865 **Sin creates a proclivity to sin; it engenders vice by repetition of the same acts. This results in perverse inclinations which cloud conscience and corrupt the concrete judgment of good and evil. Thus sin tends to reproduce itself and reinforce itself, but it cannot destroy the moral sense at its root.

1876 The repetition of sins - even venial ones - engenders vices, among which are the capital sins.

It doesn’t matter if the sinner is not repentant. I should have made that distinction.

Oh, I didn’t think of that. Thanks.

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