Sins that 'Cry Out To God For Vengeance'


I have heard this term used for certain sins, murder, depriving the poor of justice… in the Catholic Church.

What does it mean? Is this a sin that cannot be forgiven? Is it harder to get absolution for these sins than for other sins? Is it impossible to get an indulgence for the temporal penalty for these sins?

I have also heard some say (based, I think, in part on Dante’s depiction of Purgatorio and partly on Revelation 22:15) that there are some who will be forgiven their sins and saved from Hell but denied the Beatific Vision, or who will only experience the ‘earthly paradise’ but not spend eternity with God (how could anything bring us eternal happiness unless we were with God?) Is this doctrine, or even T/tradition?

What are these sins? What if I have already committed one of them? What do I do? Do we know for certain that there are some who can never be forgiven?


1.) Willful Murder
2.) The sin of Sodom
3.) Oppressing the poor
4.) Defrauding a laborer of his just wages


Thanks Tomster, any reference for this? Any answer to my question of what it MEANS that a sin ‘cries out to God for vengeance’?

Can anybody help me here? I’m trying to find out what these mean.

I don’t think I’ve oppressed the poor, at least not deliberately, or defrauded anyone of their wages, unless you count shopping at discount stores that buy sweatshop products from China, which I may have done accidentally in the past. Certainly haven’t committed the other two.


Are you suggesting these acts are “unforgiveable?” It is my understanding that there is no such thing as an unforgiveable sin.


Yep, those are the same 4 listed in my little black book.

I dont know what it means but it sure sounds serious since in the bible we know that Able’s blood cried out to God too.

I would say dont commit them or even think about committing them. Must mean more time in the Purgatory slammer. Thank God there is one!:slight_smile:


Here are some Scripture passages regarding willful murder of the innocent:

Genesis 4:10 And the LORD said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.

Revelation 6:10 they (martyrs) cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?”

Will see if I can find anything for the other three.



1867 The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are “sins that cry to heaven”: the blood of Abel,139 the sin of the Sodomites,140 the cry of the people oppressed in Egypt,141 the cry of the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan,142 injustice to the wage earner.143


I’m not suggesting that at all. As I have written elsewhere, both our Lord and St. John speak of “a” sin that shall not be forgiven. Our Lord calls it blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31), and St. John writes of the sin unto death (1 John 5:16). The explanation of these statements removes all difficulty. This sin has been identified by some as final impenitence, which manifestly is not forgiven. A fuller explanation is that this sin is the hardening of the heart against grace, which makes a man refuse to seek pardon. Such a sinner certainly is not forgiven, for he will not ask. This is the age long explanation of the Church’s writers, and is consistent with the scriptural statements. Neither our Lord nor St. John says that the sin cannot be forgiven, but that it will not be forgiven.

Scriptural evidence therefore shows us clearly that Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance (thank you Lord) which we so deeply need.


OK, I could be off on this but I think what is meant is not that God won’t forgive these sins but that these sins actually anger God. Most sins sadden God because they’re self destructive to us and seperate us from proper union with him. The sins that “Cry out” though are those that deeply offend him and call out for justice. If I’m wrong please correct me.


Can only give my opinion as to what “cries out to God for vengeance” means.

I would think the sins listed are especially offensive to God because they are so contrary to who He is as Love. Also, with some of the sins, the harm done to the other person is such that it requires some sort of just retribution - that the victim cries out for it (eg Rev 6:10), as a cry for justice. It seems to imply that besides the repentence of the sinner, there will be some sort of just retribution inflicted, not just because of the injury to the victim but also because of the insult these sins offer to God.

Romans 12:19 *Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, **I will **repay, says the Lord.” *(cf Deut 32:35)



These sins are of so abominable a nature, that every man’s feelings must revolt against them. When Cain killed his brother Abel, God said to him, “The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth to me from the earth” (Genesis 4:10). Every nation on the face of the earth punishes murder with exceptional severity, generally by the execution of the criminal. The oppression of the helpless Israelites in Egypt was a sin that cried out to heaven (Exodus 3:7). The Pharisees were guilty of this sin; they oppressed the poor and prayed long prayers (Matthew 23:14). God expressly forbade the Jews to injure the widow and the orphan (Exodus 22:29 and Ecclus. 34:26). To keep back the wages of the needy (Deut. 24:14), is a sin that cries heaven, also on some pretext or other to defraud them of the whole amount (James 5:4). In the Middle Ages an action brought by a working man took precedence of all others in the law courts , and judgment was given within three days. The sin of Sodom takes it name from the inhabitants of Sodom, who were guilty of unnatural sins, by reason of which they were destroyed by God, Who rained down upon them brimstone and fire (Genesis 19:24).

Source: "The Catechism [of Trent] Explained - Spirago and Clarke
pps. 460 and 461, # 7.


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