A comprehensive list and explanation of mortal sins, by Msgr. Charles Pope

One of the deceptions of our time is the notion that serious sin is only a remote possibility for most people and that such sins are only committed by truly wicked people. Too many people assess their moral standing with unhelpful platitudes such as these: “I’m basically a good person,” or “Well, I haven’t murdered anybody.”

We must be more serious and mature in our discernment. While it is true, as we have noted in previous articles, that there are conditions necessary for mortal sin, we ought not simply presume they are hard to meet. It is true that, even when there is grave matter, that our freedom or knowledge can be limited in such a way that our blameworthiness is reduced below the level of mortal sin. But, as noted, deep down we usually know what we are doing in most matters. Further, our freedom, though seldom a perfect freedom is more free that we like to admit when we get in trouble of some sort.

Further, God does not leave us in such a fog of uncertainty. His Word is quite clear in specifying some of the more serious sins so that we can humbly recognize our tendency to do these very things. It is also expected of us, who have reason and free will that these are not just theoretical powers seldom observed, but that they are fundamental endowments for which we are responsible and in which are expected to grow. It is offensive to our human dignity to assert, in effect, that most people are too stupid to go to hell or too enslaved to their passions to really be responsible for what they do. The Holy Scriptures presuppose that we are moral agents and engage our intellect and will. They warn of serious sin and and its consequences neither of which are relevant if we do not possess the requisite intellect and will.

Complete article

Editor’s note: This is a comprehensive and practical treatment of the subject. Highly recommended.

1 Comment

  1. Almost afraid to read this.

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