Hi there

I was working out a solution to a moral issue. I was concerned that not carrying out a certain action would be mortally sinful but that carrying it out would cause hurt to others. I’ve since realized the flawed reasoning behind this and at the time had decided that I could talk to a priest for advice and I felt that any good priest would support my decision in this area. Ive since realized there was no commitment anyhow.

However during my rumination I realized and actually said to myself that i’d no intention of carrying out the action. In reality I was just voicing my conscience. I may have worried about the consequences of mortal sin but then decided to talk to a priest as I felt any good priest would agree with my decision not to carry out the action in this circumstance.

I felt I came to a moral decision but am worrying if I could have sinned mortally during the rumination process is going

Not completely following the question but I may have read it too quickly. I urge you to discuss with your regular confessor.

Here are the basics regarding mortal sin -from the Compendium issued by Pope Benedict XVI

  1. When does one commit a mortal sin?


One commits a mortal sin when there are simultaneously present: grave matter, full knowledge, and deliberate consent. This sin destroys charity in us, deprives us of sanctifying grace, and, if unrepented, leads us to the eternal death of hell. It can be forgiven in the ordinary way by means of the sacraments of Baptism and of Penance or Reconciliation.

  1. When does one commit a venial sin?


One commits a venial sin, which is essentially different from a mortal sin, when the matter involved is less serious or, even if it is grave, when full knowledge or complete consent are absent. Venial sin does not break the covenant with God but it weakens charity and manifests a disordered affection for created goods. It impedes the progress of a soul in the exercise of the virtues and in the practice of moral good. It merits temporal punishment which purifies.

I think the underlying problem is about a conflict between perceived responsibilities of what is required to ensure I don’t commit a mortal sin and what my conscience is actually telling me.

For those of us who are scrupolous it is very difficult to live by a set of definitive rules and maintain some type of perspective.

No priest would have the time to help me analyse every thought to work out where the sin is.

(setting aside the question of the thread - let me note this regarding scruples)

A person struggles with scruples - what ought they do?

A person with scrupulosity --ought to have a* “regular confessor” who can direct them --and even give them some general principles* to follow -to apply (principles for them due to their particular scruples -they are usually not for those with a normal conscience). Thus with their direction they can dismiss scruples.

Scruples are to be dismissed not argued with.

To borrow and image from a Carthusian from centuries ago: Scruples *are like a barking dog or a hissing goose -one does not stop to argue with a barking dog or a hissing goose does one? * No one keeps walking.

Such ‘obedience’ to a regular confessor who knows of ones scruples (except in what is manifest sin - such as if he told them it was ok to murder someone or something certain like that) is key. Such is the age old practice.

Also counseling - could be helpful depending on the case -but one would want to look for a counselor who can assist one in following the Churches Teachings - not go contrary to them (I have heard CA staff mention

Here was a recent post from Jimmy Akin of CA that I saw in the Register and saved for those who struggle with such.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit