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

This post seems to point towards anxiety, compulsive thought, and possibly scrupulosity. Best to talk to your pastor or regular spiritual director to get this under control ASAP.

Hi. The problem is between perceived responsibilities and common sense. Unfortunately life is not black and white. I feel that its doubtful I could have committed a mortal sin but I tend to examine every thought to the nth degree.

Actually the problem lies here: but I tend to examine every thought to the nth degree.

As I said in my reply, obsessiveness and anxiety about this indicates a need to talk to a spiritual director.


I find it sad that people seem to feel that God is waiting to ZAP them for being uncertain about something. Please, read the Gospels and see that Jesus isn’t like that. Or read what sinning mortally involves; the definition is posted frequently in these forums.

Backtocatholic, Jesus said that his yoke is easy, his burden light. He says that in Him we will find rest for our souls. Being a Christian isn’t supposed to cause anxiety and fear of condemnation. Relax in his love for you.

Golden seal

That is the kindest and most realistic comment anybody has posted on the forum.

The delima was something along the lines of telling a mortally sinful lie so as not to cause hurt to people. The situation never ended up happening.

In trying to make the moral choice (I did not want to hurt others) I decided to ask a priest for advice. In all my reasoning I was trying to ensure I would not hurt others but I didn’t want to break what I felt were God’s laws so I was trying to reason between the two. I felt that any good priest would agree that dishonesty would be OK in this situation.

However at one point in my rumination I admitted to myself that I intended to lie on this occasion. This was not out of a wish to do wrong but rather the voice of my conscience. I suppose I just wanted the priest to endorse what I felt in my heart was right even if it involved the sin of dishonesty.

Sometimes things are not black and white and it’s actually necessary to break the rules to avoid hurting others.

There was no ill intention in the thought of my intention to lie and following on from this thought I worried about the possibility of mortal sin but then continued to think about how I would reason this with a priest.

I know to decide to commit a mortal sin (in this case dishonesty) is actually a mortal sin in itself but in my situation I feel this is doubtful because I felt it would be the only option that wouldnt hurt others. Also I was thinking this out in terms of asking a priest to endorse it.

Some further thoughts.

I never solved the delima by making a decision to be dishonest and I never intended to go ahead with the lie without running it by a priest. I placed the emphasis on convincing the priest that various factors would make it the moral thing to do in this situation.

For the future - noted that:

  1. We are not to lie (period -it is not “ok”) (though of course we commit venial sins often -so it may happen - in which case we need to repent and move forward).
  2. We do not always need to say all we know.
  3. One can also avoid lying via certain discrete speech (not referring here to anything in court but in normal life).
  4. One can avoid the subject or change it.
  5. You call “dishonesty” a “mortal sin” - note that while a lie could be grave (such as fpr example lying under oath in court) often it is venial matter not grave.
  6. Note that for mortal sin one needs grave matter, full knowledge and deliberate consent.
  7. A regular confessor would be a good thing to have -going forward.


I had a chat with a priest today and he was very helpful.

He told me that if you have decided to make the necessary changes to your life that it is possible to stay out of mortal sin. This is the third priest that I have spoken to and they have all said the same thing.

Thanks to everyone for their help and support. I’ve found the site very helpful in helping me to understand my faith. Particular thanks to those with similar problems who have answered my posts as it has been very reassuring to realise that others can struggle with similar issues. Also particular thanks to Bookcat for stressing the need to talk to a priest.

I’ve been told to stay away from the internet as it us exasperating my problem.
One thing which unfortunately has caused me trouble has been the frequent posts about mortal sin (I know that I am guilty of those types of posts too). These posts have led me to believe that mortal sin is very easy to commit and I feel this type of thinking causes every scrupolous person to re examine all their actions and look for mortal sin.

Nothing is black and white and I think that a good priest is necessary to help apply the ttheology to real life situations. The advice about a regular confessor and also a spiritual director is spot on.

Some of the posts e.g. the current survey about how often people commit mortal sin can be very damaging to those with Ocd or anxiety issues and it can make people believe that mortal sin is easy to commit.

I know this site is possibly a magnet for those with scruposity and I hope that any of my posts have not misled people.

One thing that has provided great consolation is the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. It was after praying the Chaplet that I got the idea that it was a simple issue of taking up the phone and making an appointment to speak to a priest and I know that this is no coincidence.

Once again thanks for all your help.

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