Please help, scrupulous conscience and mortal sin


I’m 16 years old and I suffer from a scrupulous conscience. I really need some help, I feel like I am always in a state of mortal sin and therefore never really worthy to receive communion. I used to fall into the sin of masturbation a lot, but now I have learned to resist temptation when it comes my way and I have been free of that sin for quite some time now. Ever since I overcame that sin I am in constant fear that I am somehow committing it. An example would be when I’m changing clothes and I brush across a sensitive area, not meaning to of course, but have some kind of sexual/pleasurable reaction to it. I know the three requirements of mortal sin: grave matter, full knowledge, and deliberate consent. I know that masturbation is grave matter, so that fulfills the first two requirements, but I have a hard time applying the “deliberate consent” requirement to my situation. If I know that I might get a sexual response/sensation from something I am doing (not intending to masturbate) and go ahead and do whatever I am doing and end up getting the sexual response, does this somehow qualify for “deliberate consent”?

Whenever this happens there’s something inside me that tells me that this is not a sin, but I’m not sure if that"s true or if it is just me trying to feign ignorance or a hardness of heart. I really need some help with this, I find myself back in confession almost every week for fear of committing this sin and falling into mortal sin.

I know that I might be given the advice to just talk my situation over with a confessor, but I have never really brought up my scrupulous conscience with a confessor, so I’m not sure how I would go about bringing up scrupulosity and my situation in confession. (Also, would it help in my situation if I sat face-to-face with the confessor, or is it ok to remain anonymous? I usually choose to be anonymous)

Thanks so much for reading this, I really appreciate it because I know its very long!

God Bless


I know what you feel when you get aroused by accident. It doesn’t matter, can happen to all of us. Just as long as you know that you shouldn’t commit to those feelings and try to get yourself aroused when this happens. Temptations are everywere, but just being tempted is not a mortal sin



Do you have a regular confessor?



Not exactly… I usually switch between two different confessors because of the times that they offer confession. If I can’t make it to one I just go to the other. I know that one of them is aware of the condition of scrupulosity and has told me when I went to confession in the past that I have scrupulous tendencies. I’m not sure if the other confessor is well aware of the scrupulous conscience.

Does it make a difference if I choose to be anonymous? I feel more comfortable that way


Thanks for your response! It’s good to know that I’m not the only one this happens to


Nip this in the bud now.

IMHO, for both your physical and spiritual health:
Find you a good confessor and explain this to him
Find you a good spiritual adviser and explain your situation
Quit visiting these board until you have permission to comeback from your spiritual adviser.


You can’t accidentally commit mortal sin.

In order for a sin to be mortal, it must meet three conditions:

Mortal sin is a sin of grave matter
Mortal sin is committed with full knowledge of the sinner
Mortal sin is committed with deliberate consent of the sinner
This means that mortal sins cannot be done “accidentally.” A person who commits a mortal sin is one who knows that their sin is wrong, but still deliberately commits the sin anyway. This means that mortal sins are “premeditated” by the sinner and thus are truly a rejection of God’s law and love.

Read the whole post it’s quite good. Also find a spiritual director. We’re all praying for you.


Okay, the first thing you need to do is tell the confessor your AGE and that you think you are scrupulous. It is okay to remain anonymous.

Also, you need to ask when and if masturbation is a mortal sin in your case.

Outside of Confession, I think you need to see your priest about scrupulosity and find a spiritual director who can help you with it if indeed you are scrupulous.


Would this be deliberate consent if I know that I might get a sexual response/sensation from something I am doing (not intending to masturbate) and go ahead and decide take the risk and do it and end up getting the sexual response?


This is exactly why I suggested that you:

  1. Go to a priest and tell them that you believe that you suffer from scrupulosity
  2. Get a spiritual adviser to help you with this condition
  3. Stay away from boards like this until your spiritual adviser says you can re-join the group discussions.

Scrupulosity is a terrible thing to suffer from and can become a very serious mental health condition, or may be a symptom of thereof. Only a good confessor and a spiritual adviser working with you will be able to really provide the guidance and help you need - at 16 the sooner you get this resolved and under control the better.


It is better if you have only one and that he knows what you are dealing with. Anonymity should not be a problem - - but you need have a single voice guiding you. More than one voice will just increase the chance of confusion and distress.





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