Which fornication is worse?

Let’s say a Catholic couple has sex for the first time 10 days before their wedding after a two year courtship. Another Catholic “couple” has sex for the first time on the second date. Does anyone here believe that these two are equally fornication?

They are.
Fornication is a sexual relations outside of marriage.
It does not matter if it was one day before marriage or ten years, it is equally fornication.
It is a sin Jesus mentioned (see Mrk 4,13), the only difference may be if the ones that fornicated were aware or not that they were doing something contrary to God’s will and to the teaching of His Church. If they did not know, they were not as guilty as if they knew.
But they fornicated anyhow, so they both need to repent and go to Confession.

All fornication is evil and sinful.
However, i personally think there is a good chance that all bodily fornication starts with spiritual fornication. As in, people who go wrong from the heart… start doing things without that are yuck.

They are both grave matter, :shrug: maybe the one would be more sinful, in fact I think it would be, but that wouldn’t change the fact that both are seriously wrong.

Yes. But the first example makes me queasy. What an awful thing for two people who wish to marry to do to one another.

People who have sex on the first date are messed up. A Catholic couple less than two weeks from the altar leading each other into sin? That’s tremendously sad.

While both of these acts are most assuredly wrong–and of grave matter,–the latter is all the more wrong because they wouldn’t even know if they are right for each other yet.

“Equally worse?” I have asked these questions as a kid: Which is worse: Killing as a soldier or killing as a cop? Stealing because you have no money or stealing because you really want something? Lying because you are protecting somebody or lying to protect yourself?

I guess we notice that a judge in a court determines the severity of a crime and its punishment and we are hoping that God, our Final Judge, will take the circumstances, details, and other related things into account for us and our loved ones on our judgment day.

There are so many levels to your question based on further details: Who are these people? Who raised them? Who helped them with their spiritual formation?

It feels like your question sets up a leniency in judgment for the soon-to-be-married couple but here are a few questions:

How does the couple know that the marriage will actually take place? Someone might break off the engagement. What is an engagement for? A test ride? Or a discernment of whether this is the person with whom to enter a sacramental marriage?

If one or both can justify breaking this law of God before marriage, what is to stop them from breaking another of God’s laws after marriage?

Why do you care if someone’s (or ones’ ) sins are less or more of a sin? A sin is a sin. Some “great” sinners have redeemed themselves through great sacrifices and actions while some “lesser” sinner may just stay stuck on the same dull note for a lifetime. I think I just want to stay away from sin as best as I can and hope never to lose a sense of what is or is not sin (things get so turned around these days).

Excellent answer, I would’ve answered similarly.

Sex is not some horrible act, without it you would not exist. I doubt the first instance would anger God, as they have the intention to spend the rest of their lives together. That being said, any fornication outside marriage is by default a sin, so confession is still a must. Better safe than sorry.

In times were promiscuity and pornography are widespread, do you really think these matters are of great concern?

Yes. They are equally grave matter. If done with full knowledge and free will, they are equally mortal sins.

Based on your other post on this topic, you seem awfully intent on proving that sex between “committed” people (whatever that means) is not fornication and therefore not “wrong”. You are not going to prove this, because it is fornication.

Both sins are grave matter for mortal sin. The culpability of each person is what we cannot really know, but can only hypothesise.

While the first couple may seem to be merely jumping the gun a little, we could also wonder why they waited so long before having sex. Presumably this is because they accept that fornication is grave sin. Knowing this, and chosing to do it anyway, they may meet all three requirements for mortal sin (grave matter, knowledge, and consent).

On the other hand, while the second couple are acting in a way that cheapens sex and seemingly removes it further from marriage than do the first couple, it may be that they have been poorly catechised to begin with and have a poor understanding of Church teaching. They may lack the knowledge requried for them to be entirely culpable for this to be mortal sin.

There’s also the issue of consent/reflection. In either case the couple may become overcome by desire and not really reflect on what they do. If either couple deliberately chooses to fornicate despite knowing it is wrong, it is mortal sin. But for either couple it is conceivable that passion overcame them and so their culpability is somewhat reduced. (I accept that some will dismiss this sort of interpretation anyway)

There are simply to many “what ifs” to say that either sin is worse than the other.

From the Catechism:

2350 Those who are engaged to marry are called to live chastity in continence. They should see in this time of testing a discovery of mutual respect, an apprenticeship in fidelity, and the hope of receiving one another from God. They should reserve for marriage the expressions of affection that belong to married love. They will help each other grow in chastity.

Do you think Christ would of made a distinction between the two scenarios u propose ?
Did Christ teach situation ethics …might excuse or make fornication free-will sin less culpable ?

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, that people gave up early on. Except one(s) persevere …they will fall back into grave sinning.

Can there be mortal sins that are worse than others? Yes certainly.

Just as there can be ways of biological DEATH that are worse than others.

End result one must keep in mind though is:

not love but death.

And even there may be in a particular case-- a particular person who has not subjectively “committed mortal sin” (God will judge)–it is still objectively grave (like the serious cancer that does not subjectively kill in a particular case) and very bad for those involved and their love.

Thanks. The CCC makes this point and Catholic moral theology has always held such. I find people very much do not like to hear about any distinction.

I would say it is bad to say that this situation will always be this bad of a sin, because sin involves more then just a bad act, what were the intentions, did they have a properly formed conscience, is it possible that they had a bad conscience but through no fault of their own. You can’t say that a couple who had sex just before marriage doesn’t commit as bad as a sin as someone who does it after the first date. To many things go into how bad of a sin something is. Fornication is of-course wrong but the culpability changes depending on the person sinning and and the situation

so to your question I would answer no lol

They are both fornication, but I’d say the latter is a more disordered act than the former.

At least in the former involves a couple who love each other and are about to make a lifelong commitment, though it is still fornication and still wrong.

Not what I said.

Also, Catholic people (not the Church) speak about sex like it is something disgusting, which I find offensive to the beauty of its purpose and meaning. The reason sex can be sinful is that it uses the other person as a means to an end and is also a sin against oneself. The first instance does neither and the intentions behind the act would be similar to the intentions they would have made when married. So is massively different. Though still a sin that should be confessed, as I have already said.

As far as the object goes, they are equal acts. God’s judgment will not relie on object alone however, as he is the perfect judge of heart and mind. It’s possible either one might be more grave given what the individuals know, full consent etc. Both will almost certainly lead your soul to hell left unrepentant.

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