Definition: A serious sin for which confession and absolution must occur in order for Catholics to avoid hell. In order for a sin to qualify as mortal, it must be a sin that is committed with full knowledge and deliberate assent. It is a premeditated act. Mortal sins include adultery, fornication, idolatry, hatred, jealousy, murder, lascivious behavior, drunkenness, strife, heresies, envy, and reveling. Failure to adhere to any of the five precepts of Catholicism is also a mortal sin. This includes failure to attend Mass every week and failure to abstain from meat when required.
Discussion: The Bible warns that those who practice serious sin will not enter the kingdom of heaven (Gal. 5:21). There is no provision that allows those who practice such sins to habitually receive a sacrament to absolve themselves. The sacrament of penance is a Catholic contrivance that offers a false hope. Since there is no inclusive list as to what constitutes a mortal sin, it is impossible for Catholics to be sure they have not forgotten to confess at least one. Concerning heaven, a Christian receives forgiveness of all sins, past and future, and they are reborn as a new creation. While still retaining the ability and tendency to sin, the practicing of serious sins is impossible (1 Jn. 2:7-9).
Articles & Viewpoints:
- Article by James McCarthy – Mortal and Venial Sin