When is lying mortal sin?

So I went to confession today, and stupidly told the Priest it had been a “few weeks” since the last time I went to confession, when it had really been a week. I guess I was worried that he would think badly of me, that I was being to scrupulous. It is because of my habit of lying about small things that I am trying to break. From my understanding of Catholicism, this is a venial, and not mortal, sin, correct?

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Please get out of the habit of lying, even about small things. I have known of people for whom it is at best a disordered lifestyle accessory, and at worst a pathology for which help is needed.

I, for one, cannot answer whether lying about how long it’s been since your last confession — especially when you did not try to conceal how long it had been, but tried to make yourself sound “worse” in that respect than you actually were — would rise to the level of mortal sin, in terms of gravity of the matter in itself. It’s not as though you lied about a sin, or concealed a mortal sin. I want to say it isn’t, but neither would I want to mislead you. There also may be a compulsion factor — some people lie so habitually, that they almost can’t help it. Mention all of this to your priest the next time you go to confession, and do what he tells you.

Again, try to break this habit. Also, going to confession once a week is commendable, unless you see it is leading you into scrupulosity. Having not been to confession for “several weeks” is better than most people do nowadays. Better yet, ask your priest how often he thinks you should go.

You cannot go wrong obeying a faithful, doctrinally orthodox priest who teaches and preaches in accord with the magisterium.

Just be calm and tell the priest the truth. You are essentially talking to Jesus who understrands and knows any way.

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OK for a lie to be a mortal sin there are a few items that have to considered.
It needs to be GRAVE MATTER and one has to be fully cognizant of this fact.
one must do it with the full intent and will to perpetrate the lie.
In this case yes this lie would be a mortal sin.
It seems that in your case you have a tendency to shall we say not be 100% truthful possibly because of scrupulosity which should be addressed with treatment but that is definitely not a mortal sin.
BUT it is bad to try to deceive one’s confessor. Remember you are speaking to GOD, the priest is there for our benefice so that we can receive the absolution and HEAR it clearly.


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Don’t worry about what kind of sin it is. Instead, focus on why you are compelled to lie. People lie for all kinds of reasons, but I have found most good people lie because they feel inadequate about themselves in some way. Their lack of self-esteem doesn’t allow them to present their true self to the world. I don’t believe this is sinful. However, it should be worked on so you can be the best person you can be. You need to let go of the guilt, and use that energy to have a healthier attitude about yourself.

Lying is never good.

Possibly venial but I’m not sure due to the fact that you lied in the confessional, maybe making it a bit more serious. Things are not “mortal sins” in and of themselves, necessarily, - you need full knowledge, grave matter and full consent for something to be a mortal sin.
My advice - you know you did something wrong, so just wait until your next confession, don’t go just for this, and include this sin in your confession. :slight_smile: It’s an understandable thing to do - some priests are less than charitable with frequent and intentional confessees, however you are confessing to Jesus, regardless of how charitable or uncharitable the priest is.
Also, I used to go to confession once a week but I actually found it counter-productive because what happened was I began to coast and become slack in my spiritual life throughout the week because I knew I was getting confession at the weekend and was more inclined to indulge in venial sins. I find 2 weeks is much better for me.

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