When is anger a mortal sin?

Hi all. I have a question. When is anger a mortal sin? I understand that anger is a desire for revenge, and when it reaches the point to kill or seriously wound another, it is mortal. I am a little confused on that last part. I have also heard that when one desires to physically hurt another it is grave. So would a parent spanking a child as punishment be grave. Or if you were throwing a football with a sibling, and purposefully throwing it hard because they were doing throwing the ball hard be grave matter? Thanks.

Your examples are not grave matter. Hitting a child hard enough to actually hurt them as a vent for your anger rather than a disciplinary method might be. Throwing a ball really hard at your sibling would be venial unless they were standing near the edge of a cliff and you were trying to knock them off :stuck_out_tongue:

CCC 2302 By recalling the commandment, “You shall not kill,” our Lord asked for peace of heart and denounced murderous anger and hatred as immoral.

Anger is a desire for revenge. “To desire vengeance in order to do evil to someone who should be punished is illicit,” but it is praiseworthy to impose restitution “to correct vices and maintain justice.”** If anger reaches the point of a deliberate desire to kill or seriously wound a neighbor, it is gravely against charity; it is a mortal sin.** The Lord says, “Everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment.”

You already have the splendid light from the Catechism there.

And more can be said of course (the CCC is not meant to be an exhaustive text).

One could also say further - when it leads to serious injustice or serious scandal…seriously offends charity …or hatred of God etc. Such are also grave.

Also In terms of immoderate outbursts…such can often be venial sin. Though if a person were to deliberately go into such a rage that it they can be considered to have lost their reason…then it is a different story.

I imagine more could be said …

Ones confessor can assist one in judging such if needed.

(In general regarding mortal sin:

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.


All anger is a deadly sin and severely stains soul. It’s true that Christ became angry, but He is God and the anger was done under perfect control where He received none of its negative consequences. Not so for us who must avoid anger at all costs

No not all anger “severely stains the soul”.

And the term “deadly sin” in “the seven deadly sins”- there does not mean mortal sin.

(The term used by the Church in the Catechism for those classic 7 is “capital” since they are sources for other sins.)

Anger can yes be mortal at times --but also anger can rather be venial (see my post above).

I never implied that all anger is always a mortal sin, but that it always stains our soul and is to be avoided.

The degree of harm to the soul there seem to be implied in that post.

Hence my clarification


If the anger is “just” anger - it is well…just…

Though even in cases of “just anger” it can be easy to go too far.

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