Saturday, November 04, 2006

Good Catholics and Bad Catholics: Mortal Sin

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, sin is "an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law." CCC#1849
Furthermore, the Church makes a distinction between two types of sins. Venial sins are sins of a less grave nature which do not cut us off from Christ. However, venial sin does weaken grace in the soul and damages our relationship with God. A person who frequently indulges in venial sin is very likely to collapse into mortal sin if they persist in their evil ways.

The most serious and grave sins are referred to as mortal sins. Mortal sins destroy the grace of God in the heart of the sinner. By their very grave nature, a mortal sin cuts off our relationship with God and turns man away from his creator. Mortal sins cannot be done "accidentally." More here and here.

Some thoughts from a former Protestant here.

A person who commits a mortal sin is one who knows that their sin is wrong, but still deliberately commits the sin anyway. This means that mortal sins are "premeditated" by the sinner and thus are truly a rejection of God’s law and love. A person who dies in mortal sin cannot enter the kingdom of heaven and is doomed to eternal suffering in hell. For an extensive listing of mortal sins read this.

It is essential to spiritual health and safety that Catholics confess sins on a regular basis, and without delay in cases of mortal sin. The person who repents of their sin, intends to live a new life of grace, and receives the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be forgiven of all their sins. Because Jesus Christ paid for the price of human sin by dying on the cross for the redemption of humanity, our sins can be forgiven. Jesus Christ, true man and true God, was the perfect sacrifice for human sin and as a result saved those who are baptized, repent and believe in him.

1. what the Catholic Church teaches about mortal sin, and
2. that the Church’s teaching on faith and morals is infallible,

I believe I am right then to say that Catholics who deny the truth or reality of mortal sin, as taught by the Catholic Church, and who live in mortal sin, will not make it to heaven. Regardless of whether they are deemed to be good Catholics by attendance at Mass on Sundays, or by regular reception of the Eucharist, or by any other standard, they are deceived and lost. 

Sad to say there is a vast multitude of Catholics in Canada and the U.S. who deny and demean Catholic teaching by their criticism and daily lives. These people and the church leaders they emulate have created a counterfeit Catholicism that is worthy of only scorn and disdain by sincere Catholics and by other orthodox Christian believers. 

It should also be obvious that Catholic priests and bishops who would foster or encourage such disobedience and deception will themselves be doubly guilty and likewise be shut out of heaven. I hasten to add of course that God alone is able to make such judgments. I am simply drawing what are obvious conclusions to Catholic teaching.

To illustrate what I am saying, consider the almost universal practice in our society of contraception. Catholic teaching has been constant and extremely clear: contraception is fatal to the faith and to eternal life.

Yet Catholics contracept at probably the same rate as non-Catholic Christians and many priests and bishops are silent (if not outrightly defiant to Church teaching) in speaking on the subject. [The leaders of evangelical Christians have been seriously neglectful as well in teaching their flocks of the history and dangers of the contraceptive mentality. More here.]

If mortal sin cuts one off from God and denies that person entrance to heaven and if contraception is a mortal sin, why aren’t priests and bishops (and even other Christian leaders) warning constantly of the danger to the souls of their people?

How many possible answers can there be? Either for some (unacceptable) reason these leaders deny/disregard the teaching or they are apathetic to the grave danger posed to their flocks. Either way, it may be enough to send them to a Christless eternity.

If I am wrong on any of this I am ready to be corrected.


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