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List of mortal sin

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The Distinction between two types of sin (Mortal sin and Venial Sin)

All sin is an offense against God and a rejection of his perfect love and justice. Yet, Jesus makes a distinction between two types of sins. We call the most serious and grave sins, mortal sins. Mortal sins destroy the grace of God in the heart of the sinner. By their very grave nature, a mortal sin cuts our relationship off from God and turns man away from his creator. St. Paul’s letter to the Hebrews tell us that “if we sin willfully after having the knowledge of the truth, there is now left no sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26). The second type of sin, venial sin, that of less grave matter, does 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.

So what kind of Sins are Mortal?

In order for a sin to be mortal, it must meet three conditions:

  • Mortal sin is a sin of grave matter
  • Mortal sin is committed with full knowledge of the sinner
  • Mortal sin is committed with deliberate consent of the sinner

This means that mortal sins cannot be done “accidentally.” 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.

The first condition, that a mortal sin is of grave matter, means that certain premeditated offenses against God are more severe than others. We know that some sins are graver than others (e.g. it is a graver sin to murder someone than to lie to someone). St. John tells us, “If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and he will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly.” (1 John 5:16-17). Thus St. John distinguishes between mortal and venial sin. Jesus also warns us that “Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned” (John 15:6).

List of Mortal Sin

Abortion “Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means,” is “gravely contrary to the moral law. The Church imposes the canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime against human life.”
Encouragement of another’s grave sins or vices “Every word or attitude is forbidden which by flattery, adulation, or complaisance encourages and confirms another in malicious acts and perverse conduct. Adulation is a grave fault if it makes one an accomplice in another’s vices or grave sins. Neither the desire to be of service nor friendship justifies duplicitous speech. Adulation is a venial sin when it only seeks to be agreeable, to avoid evil, to meet a need, or to obtain legitimate advantages.”
Adultery …refers to marital infidelity. When two partners, of whom at least one is married to another party, have sexual relations – even transient ones – they commit adultery. Christ condemns even adultery of mere desire. The sixth commandment and the New Testament forbid adultery absolutely. The prophets denounce the gravity of adultery; they see it as an image of the sin of idolatry.”
Apostasy “the total repudiation of the Christian faith”
Blasphemy … is contrary to the respect due God and his holy name. It is in itself a grave sin.”
Cheating and unfair wagers “Unfair wagers and cheating at games constitute grave matter, unless the damage inflicted is so slight that the one who suffers it cannot reasonably consider it significant.”
Contraception “Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means.””On the other hand, the Church does not consider at all illicit the use of those therapeutic means necessary to cure bodily diseases, even if a foreseeable impediment to procreation should result there from—provided such impediment is not directly intended for any motive whatsoever.”
Defrauding a worker of a just wage “A just wage is the legitimate fruit of work. To refuse or withhold it can be a grave injustice. In determining fair pay both the needs and the contributions of each person must be taken into account. “Remuneration for work should guarantee man the opportunity to provide a dignified livelihood for himself and his family on the material, social, cultural and spiritual level, taking into account the role and the productivity of each, the state of the business, and the common good.” Agreement between the parties is not sufficient to justify morally the amount to be received in wages.”
Divorce If civil divorce, which cannot do anything to the spiritual marriage in the eyes of God, remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the protection of inheritance, or the care of the children it is not a sin. To attempt remarriage (outside the Church) without pursuing dissolution of the prior marriage would be grave matter.
Drug usage …unless on strictly therapeutic grounds
Endangerment of human life or safety …endangering one’s own life or the safety of others (e.g., by drunkenness, a love of speed on the road, at sea, or in the air, or gross negligence).
Participation in Freemasonry “The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.”
Envy …if to the level of wishing grave harm to another.
Euthanasia …of human beings with souls. Euthanising non-human animals is not considered an offense.
Extreme anger …at the level of truly and deliberately desiring to seriously hurt or kill someone
Fornication …is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman.””Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.”
Hatred …of a neighbor to the point of deliberately desiring him or her great harm
Heresy “the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same”
Homosexual actions “Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.”
Incest …corrupts family relationships and marks a regression toward animality.”
Lying The gravity is measured by “the truth it deforms, the circumstances, the intentions of the one who lies, and the harm suffered by its victims.”
Masturbation The gravity is measured by, “the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.””Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.”
Failing One’s Duty to Attend Mass “[T]he faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor. Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.””Even if in the earliest times [Mass attendance] was not judged necessary to be prescriptive, the Church has not ceased to confirm this obligation of conscience, which rises from the inner need felt so strongly by the Christians of the first centuries. It was only later, faced with the half-heartedness or negligence of some, that the Church had to make explicit the duty to attend Sunday Mass: more often than not, this was done in the form of exhortation…The present Code reiterates…saying that ‘on Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to attend Mass’. This legislation has normally been understood as entailing a grave obligation.”
Murder …and co-operation in murder. Abortion and euthanasia as well as acceptance by human society of murderous famines without trying to fix them are included as murder. “Unintentional killing is not morally imputable. But one is not exonerated from grave offense if, without proportionate reasons, he has acted in a way that brings about someone’s death, even without the intention to do so. Self-defense or defense of others when there is no other, way may involve homicide but does not constitute murder.
Perjury “a perjury is committed when he makes a promise under oath with no intention of keeping it, or when after promising on oath he does not keep it.”
Polygamy “… is contrary to the equal personal dignity of men and women who in matrimony give themselves with a love that is total and therefore unique and exclusive.” The Christian who has previously lived in polygamy has a grave duty in justice to honor the obligations contracted in regard to his former wives and his children.
Pornography “… does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense.”
Practicing magic or sorcery “All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others – even if this were for the sake of restoring their health – are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity.”
Prostitution “While it is always gravely sinful to engage in prostitution, the imputability of the offense can be attenuated by destitution, blackmail, or social pressure.”
Rape …is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life.
Sacrilege …consists in profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments and other liturgical actions, as well as persons, things, or places consecrated to God. Sacrilege is a grave sin especially when committed against the Eucharist (i.e., receiving Communion while in a state of mortal sin committed post-baptism).”
Scandal Deliberately causing someone to sin gravely.
Schism “the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”
Simony Buying or selling spiritual things, such as sacraments.
Suicide “Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide. We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.”
Terrorism …that threatens, wounds and kills indiscriminately.
Unjust prices Refusing or withholding a just wage; taking advantage of the poor.
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