Seeing a bare-chested woman a sin?

So, I was just watching a slide show of the previous popes then I decided to scroll down. Then, I saw a picture of a woman. I tried to look closer then I just realized that she is bare-chested! Don’t worry, I wasn’t aroused or have had lustful feelings towards her.

Is it a mortal sin?
Do I have to abstain from communion?

Our sex- saturated culture is enough to convince me to enter a Carthusian Monastery.

No, it was not an act of your will and you moved on immediately upon seeing it, so you are not in a state of mortal sin.

I remember reading a quote from a saint about curiosity being a great evil. At the time I wondered how that could be possible, but after seeing many posts like this about seeing a small image and upon further inspection realizing it was immoral in some way, I think I understand the quote now. (Just an observation, not a personal attack - I have also looked at things out of curiosity and been horrified to find something gruesome or pornographic, and after having this happen a few times, I don’t give in to that curiosity anymore.)

I hear ya on your last statement…it is EVERYWHERE, there is no escaping it. It turns my stomach.

No. What would the sin be?

A mortal sin requires 3 conditions to be present
from the Catechism:

1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: "Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent."131

  1. The act or omission must be Grave Matter
  2. the sinner must know the act or omission is Grave Matter
  3. The Act or omission must be freely consented to. (you cant be forced to comit a mortal sin by someone with a gun to your head… the sin is theirs not yours. Many things can impair the will, including Alcohol… where the sin is in getting drunk, the culpability for acts subsequently committed can be greatly lessened.)

Now. to come across a picture of a naked or topless woman is not always objectively grave matter. - Otherwise one could not morally enter many museums or some other public buildings where statues and pictures are present.
Even some of our churches have sacred art containing or consisting of pictures or statues of bare chested male and female figures.

Pornography is Grave matter. It is the deliberate formation of sexualised images or images of the sex act, which are then promoted for the sexual gratification of others.

A image of a topless woman, even if intended to be enticing to the viewer, is not Pornography as defined in the catechism.
it is Highly immodest, and it is definitely immoral to create, promote, or seek such images for lustful reasons.

But the situation you describe does not contain any of the 3 elements requred to be a Mortal Sin.

  1. The image described is not (from your description) automatically grave matter (it may have been, but it would not be good to give us sufficient detail to make that judgment). As a general rule I would say that to seek out deliberate photos of the “Page 3” variety are potentially “Grave matter”. but they are a whole different league from actual Pornography - which is an absolute, intrinsic evil.
  2. you did not deliberately seek this image. Nor did you intend any unchaste act (including deliberately entertaining unchaste thoughts). You gave no consent of will.
  3. It is clear that your knowledge of the morality of these matters is under developed. It is a moral obligation to properly form your conscience. I would advise you to read the appropriate parts of the Catechism.
    Why not buy yourself a copy of YouCat?
    Here’s a link on Amazon. but it’s avaialble from many places.

Its a catechism published by the Vatican which is designed to be easy to read and learn from, based on the far larger and more difficult to read Catechism of the Catholic Church.

No, relax.

How, exactly, did you see a picture of a bare-chested woman on a website that has a slide show of previous popes? Somewhat of a mismatch, don’t you think?

Was it a sidebar advert?

Weren’t there pictures of John Paul II from one of his African trips, where some native dancers appeared before him “topless?”

Breasts are a part of the human body. There is nothing “evil” about seeing a pair of breasts. If you start having lustful feelings, it’s your own fault, but is an indicator that you’re straight, which is the goal when you’re Catholic.

Seeing a bare-chested woman is a good experience.

I agree with you up through this part of your post… ^^

and disagree, beginning here:

No. The “goal” when you are Catholic has nothing to do with having sexual attractions one way or the other. We must clarify between “attractions” and “actions.” The former are not sinful, and the latter are sinful, when the act is wrong.

Seeing a bare-chested woman is not a “good experience.” In fact, those are the wrong words to use. It is a morally neutral experience, and the impending moral developments depend ENTIRELY on how the person viewing the woman responds. If they have lust, they sin. If not, or if they actively try to look away or view the woman with pure chastity, they do not sin and may even be strengthened in grace.

I hope not I’m an art student, I paint the nude once every week :thumbsup:

Doesn’t all the paint on their bodies bother them, or do you wash it off afterwards? :wink:

Haha :smiley:

Has anyone checked with National Geographic magazine on this?

You did not sin. These days, the internet puts tons of things out there to lure people. Even if it had aroused you it wouldn’t be a sin (men and boys who are raped are generally aroused against their will). Temptations come. If you reject the temptation, you are fine. :slight_smile:

are you sure? If he starts having lustful feelings this is rather due to hormones and the fact that he’s a straight human rather than due to his will.

Lust is always a sin. However, one can have feelings of sexual excitement (without lusting) due to hormones. If lustful thoughts are forcing their way into one’s head, one must reject and fight the temptation of lust and not give in to it. :slight_smile:

Your reaction and your action prior to this lead me to believe you didn’t sin. You didn’t deliberately seek out this image. You were not aroused by it either. No sin. Relax. Sin requires a guilty intent followed by a guilty action - here I see neither.

I think “giving in” to those thoughts is what’s actually sinful and not the thought that comes out of nowhere and all of a sudden. When you notice the thought, you’re supposed to fight it. At least that’s how a Catholic Pastor once explained it to me.

I just want to note that being accidentally aroused isn’t a sin (it can hit you out of nowhere). Attempting to be aroused outside of marriage is a sin. :slight_smile:

Exactly! :thumbsup: The temptation to lust is not sinful. Giving into the temptation to lust is sinful. :slight_smile:

Is seeing a bare-breasted cow a sin? It was in my seeing a cartoon the absurdity of a dancing bare-breasted cow that made me aware of specie-specific behavior that cured me of sexual arousal of bare-breasted women.

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