Would this act of lying be a mortal sin?

Hi ,

I have only just started attending church and when my Dad asks me generally what am I doing on the weekend I don’t state that I am going to church . I know he is an atheist and although I’m not embarrassed about going to church I don’t know why I haven’t got the courage to tell him . I get really anxious about telling him and feel really guilty after not telling him for worry that I have committed a mortal sin !

I want to know whether this would be a mortal sin or not ? I do intend to tell him at some point but I want to wait for the right time . I’m not sure if this lie would even be grave matter as I am not denying the faith , I’m simply not being open and honest about going to church . Also , I’m not sure if it would be classed as having full consent to commit the sin given my anxiety about telling him .

Any thoughts you guys would have on this would be great .

How old are you? Do you still live at home with your father?

Thank you for taking the time to reply . But regardless of this being his business or not , would this still not be lying ?

I am 24 , I don’t , I currently live in a different city . He is unaware that I am “religious” and it would probably be a shock to him when he finds out . Not necessarily a bad shock but he will be surprise to him .

As Tsuzuki said, it’s not his business, you don’t have to tell him. The only worry that came to mind would be if you were “denying the faith” in someway, which you say you aren’t.

A lie is purposefully saying something you don’t think is true. So not telling your dad what you are doing doesn’t count as a lie. Now if you said you’re doing something other than what you were doing, you might be lying, but it would be simply be a white lie and almost certainly not mortal, we tell these kind of lies all the time. By this I mean saying, “I go for walks in the morning”, instead of saying I go to church. But saying I was busy or went out in the morning without further details is not lying.

So be at peace my brother. On this day of Pentecost, may the Holy Spirit guide and strengthen you that you might be able to someday share you’re awakening of faith with your father.

Thank you for your reply . I understand what you are saying . My main worry was that by not telling him I was going to church , this may count as ‘denying the faith’ . I know it probably wasn’t directly lieing but by saying that I was ‘just relaxing and not doing too much’ (which was my answer) , I am worried that indirectly this could have been classed as lieing !

… 23 I mean ! Can’t believe I forgot that !

If I want to be technical it could be. But “just relaxing and not doing too much” doesn’t exclude going to church. Unless I suppose you find going to church being really stressful haha :stuck_out_tongue: So I would be at peace with your answer.

Now your worry could maybe be the Holy Spirit trying to move you to share your faith with your father or be more open about you going to church more. I don’t know, you’d have to pray about that. It can be a bit of an awkward time when we start to go to church. All the sudden questions of how to explain that and talk about it start to come to mind. Be at peace and know the the Lord is guiding you and will help you to figure out how to express your faith with your family as you come to know Him better.

At 23, it is none of his business. I would just say “Oh, I’ll be out and about” or “just getting some stuff done” or any number of other non-specific things. I’m sure your dad, speaking to his 23 year old son, is just trying to make small talk and not quizzing you on your weekend plans because they really concern him.

Thank you for your reply .

Your right , he was just asking generally . I was just worried that by omitting that I went to church, this may be construde as a denial of faith .

[LEFT]you are being vague, not deceitful. Just live your life and carry on. [/LEFT]

You are good, relax, trust me if you commit a mortal sin you will know it.

Actually it is a sin. It is the sin of omission. If you had the courage and conviction to become a Catholic you should try to find the strength to man up and be open with your father. Mortal or venial is for your confessor to decide. Even if you are of age and out on your own there is a certain element of disrespect or possibly fear in not owning up to your faith. I think you should tell your father your choice…the sooner the better. Peace

In your circumstances, being 23 years old and not living with him, I don’t see much harm in telling him that you went or will be going to church. If you think he will be curious and ask questions about it, be prepared to explain why you go to church, at least in general terms. If he wants to argue about religion, remember that you don’t have to have a solid answer to every question or comment, but always respond with love and respect.

Also bear in mind that openness and honesty about difficult topics has the potential, maybe even the likelihood, to strengthen your father-son relationship. If it works out that way, it would be awesome for both of you.

Kind of in jest… but, what’s the worst thing in the world you could do in your dad’s eyes?

In order for OP to have sinned by omission, he needed to have a positive moral imperative to do something and could have done it, but he didn’t do so. In this case the positive moral imperative seems to be something like, every Christian ought to make Christ known to others. The thing is that it is so general in what it means to make Christ known to others. We don’t have to be constantly preaching with words. Now you might be able to make a case that by saying otherwise than OP went to church, he had the chance and ability to bear witness to Christ and didn’t. This though implies a decision to choose to not say he went to church, which is seemingly what happened. But, OP could have born witness to Christ in other ways while talking to his father. He did not have to bear witness by saying he went to church, he could have done it any number of ways.

This though doesn’t mean there wasn’t a sin of omission, I just don’t think that it is a clear cut you seem to imply.

OP, why are your afraid of him? You don’t have to answer, but you do need to examine this relationship.

Remember Peter denied Christ.
I would take this to my confessor and trust HIS opinion.

I think this really depends on the parents. The adult child has to judge when and how is best to have the discussion. Personally, I would not advise that sort of discussion be had over the phone in most cases.

Does this mean that the sin I commited is grave matter ?

See the advice of your confessor…not internet strangers.
We all obviously have differing opinions, and the priest’s opinion is the one that matters!
Simple to fix. Discuss this in the confessional. He’ll let you know, and absolve you if need be
God bless you, and welcome to the fora!

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