Sexual sin in Western culture

Fornication, artificial contraception, and other sexual sins have become socially accepted and widespread in our Western culture. Some people we live amongst, who are otherwise kind and caring people, engage in sexual sins because their consciences have been warped by our materialistic and hedonistic mainstream media. As Catholics, we believe that sexual sins are serious matter and place our soul at risk of eternal damnation.

Yet it is difficult for me to imagine that so many people are going to hell; however, it seems to compromise God’s perfect justice if those who practice chastity, along with the other virtues, share the same eternal fate with those who follow the dictates of our culture and their passions (even if they are otherwise kind people). Are all (or most) fornicators going to hell? If so, please offer me advice about how to admonish this widespread sin without embarrassing and alienating others (if this is possible).

“If I had not done works among them that no one else ever did, they would not have sin; but as it is, they have seen and hated both me and my Father.”
-John 15:24

“No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?”
-Luke 6:40-41

“A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks. ‘Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do what I command?’”
-Luke 6:45-46

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
-John 3:16-18

We really can make no statement regarding the condition of any person’s (living or dead) soul, except in the case of the saints that the Church has canonized so that we may have examples to follow. I would say to you all we can do is take the words of Jesus in the scripture quoted above for what they are. Knowing that we have a God who is perfect in charity, justice, and mercy we do not need to concern ourselves with the final count of those in heaven and in hell. We simply trust in Him. All we can do is preach the gospel and pray without ceasing so that all people we come into contact with will have an opportunity to hear the word of Our Lord, and to respond to it freely.

As far as how to admonish others, I would look in the gospel to how Jesus admonished the sinner that he came across. It was gentle and loving. While he acknowledges their sin, he lovingly calls them back to himself. Furthermore, consider Matthew 18:15-17.

Peace and good.

It depends on whether the person regrets or learns something from the experience. Sex is a big responsibility and has consequences–good or bad, but mostly bad from what I’ve seen at school.

Keep in mind that we are punished *by *are sins and not necessarily for them.

Admonishing them will be quite a challenge, considering the fact that you want to approach this in a religious way. Not everyone is Christian-- or religious, for that matter.

Ironically Yours, Blade and Blood

I agree our culture is overly sexualized. Many of our teenage girls attend school dressed in totally inappropriate attire. It’s mind-boggling how parents can be so blind or unaware or indifferent.

This may not be very comforting, but, these particular sins were quite popular when Christianity arose in the ancient world and many of them stayed popular in the early medieval world. Catholicism can outlast almost anything, but it may take generations or even generations of martyrs.

The subject of who will be saved is a mystery that remains so. Nevertheless, there are some [many?] who definitively know. I should like to recommend a small book to you which I read at least twice and referred to many more times. It is “Dare We Hope That All Men Be Saved”, by Hans Urs von Balthasar. Balthasar died a few years ago immediately prior to be selected a priest-cardinal by Pope John Paul II. The pope then honored him by ordering that Balthasar be buried with the full rights of Cardinal.

I am reminded of the parable about the day workers who agreed to a just wage for the day in the morning and worked strenuously all day and were completely ticked off when the employer hired people late in the day (didn’t they work like ONE HOUR or something??) and paid them the same wage. I always have to chuckle when I hear that reading because I’d be one of those ticked off workers arguing that “It’s not FAIR!” when others worked for one hour and made the same amount I made after working my tail off for a whole day! Human nature, I guess.

I have hope for all of us and don’t spend any time worrying about other people going to hell. Worrying doesn’t help; prayer and having a loving attitude will. I pray for others and myself and trust in God’s infinite mercy. Who knows what happens in a person’s heart and soul right before death—I hope that all of us get a chance to make that “late in the day” peace with God. Some people may only have to work a few seconds to make it to the same place that some have worked their whole lives to get to. God’s fairness is not necessarily our fairness :smiley:


Have you seen the way their mothers dress? Even at Church?

I hope that I have not given the impression that I or Fr. Balthsar in his book are worried about who may be in hell. Rather the book is an intensive examination of the scriptures on both sides of the issue–that is, are many or few in hell.

Very amen. Look we really want all people to be saved and to Live in joy and freedom now and eternally with Jesus and the saints in heaven. You remind me of St. Dismas turning to Christ on the cross and becoming the first person who we are absolutely sure is in heaven. :slight_smile:

People who are more ignorant are less culpable. That means a culturally afflicted secularised person is likely to be less culpable than an informed Catholic. God’s justice does not allow any unjust punishment. I don’t know what this means precisely in practice, but what I know is that God will treat them with justice and with the mercy which is even greater than justice. They will in no way be wronged.

Fornication, artificial contraception, and other sexual sins have become socially accepted and widespread in our Western culture.

Speaking as a convert, who used to live a sinful life, I can at least guess that most of these people have the same badly formed conscience that I did. I believed that I could do anything that felt good to me as long as it didn’t hurt anybody. My definition of “hurt” had nothing to do with the soul.

Thus I failed the requirement of full knowledge (CCC 1857 ff), and my sins of fornication were not mortal. That’s what Father said at my first confession, and the Catechism backs him up.

Yes, we should lovingly admonish people - but I doubt that most of them are in mortal sin.

I hope this makes you feel a little better!

God bless you,


Thanks for the advice. I agree: we should spend less time worrying and more time praying and setting a good example.

No living person knows who is going to hell.

I don’t think our culture is more sexualized than others throughout history except for perhaps we have an availability that they did not have with the internet. God has always sent his messengers into the depth of these cultures and yes, he expected them to turn away from sin.

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