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Is there an official Church document which ennumerates what constitutes a grave sin? I know there is a great definition here on fisheaters but I was looking for one which is included in Church documents as it is one of those occassions when liberals are very illiberal and minimise what constitutes a grave sin. The definition here is "breaking one of the 10 Commandments, committing one of the Sins that Cry out to Heaven, or failing to uphold the 6 Precepts of the Church?" but I'd love to know if that is officially referenced anywhere or over several places?

Any help would be very much appreciated.

[I have trawled through the vatican website etc. but can't find an officially declared list or description of them.]
(05-09-2009, 11:53 AM)Supercertari Wrote: [ -> ]Is there an official Church document which ennumerates what constitutes a grave sin? I know there is a great definition here on fisheaters but I was looking for one which is included in Church documents as it is one of those occassions when liberals are very illiberal and minimise what constitutes a grave sin. The definition here is "breaking one of the 10 Commandments, committing one of the Sins that Cry out to Heaven, or failing to uphold the 6 Precepts of the Church?" but I'd love to know if that is officially referenced anywhere or over several places?

Any help would be very much appreciated.

[I have trawled through the vatican website etc. but can't find an officially declared list or description of them.]

For sins, the most important parts are not the act itself, but the intent and will.

The Church doesn't have enumerated lists of sinful acts.

So you can be sure of great sin when someone willfully minimises the act.

from http://www.saintaquinas.com :

What kinds of offenses against God constitute "grave matter"?

    In the Bible, St. Paul gives us a list of grave sins. He states that anyone who commits these sins shall not enter the kingdom of God. "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galatians 5:19-20). Paul also tells the Corinthians, "know you no that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards nor railers, nor extortioners shall possess the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). These sins constitute grave matter, and if they are committed willingly and with full consent, constitute mortal sin.

    The Church also tells us that the sins of anger, blasphemy, envy, hatred, malice, murder, neglect of Sunday obligation, sins against faith (incredulity against God or heresy), sins against hope (obstinate despair in the hope for salvation and/or presumption that oneself can live without God or be saved by one’s own power) and sins against love (indifference towards charity, ingratitude, and/or hatred of God) also constitute grave matter. This list of grave sins, is based on Jesus Christ’s interpretation of the gravity of the Ten Commandments. Grave sins can be classed as sins against God, neighbor and self, and can further be divided into carnal and spiritual sins (CCC 1853).

    Four other sins are considered grave also. These sins not only offend God, but men as well. Thus these four sins are called "the sins that cry to heaven for vengeance" and are likewise mortal sins. These grave sins are:

    * The voluntary murder (Genesis 4:10)
    * The sin of impurity against nature –Sodomy and homosexual relations (Genesis 18:20)
    * Taking advantage of the poor (Exodus 2:23)
    * Defrauding the workingman of his wages (James 5:4)

    Finally, the capital sins are also considered grave matter. These sins are vices and are defined as contrary to the Christian virtues of holiness. They are pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth (acedia).
St. Thomas Aquinas: "Therefore when the soul is so disordered by sin as to turn away from its last end, viz. God, to Whom it is united by charity, there is mortal sin; but when it is disordered without turning away from God, there is venial sin." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II-I, Q. 72, A. 5.)
Thank you for the answers so far.

Its a "debate" where a VII catholic is saying you don't need to go to confession at least annually which I contend you do. He's quoting Canon Law at me (I know, he's the kind who ignores it all the rest of the time!) and the list of grave matter given here is excellent (i.e. 10 commandments, sins crying for vengeance and the precepts of the Church.) If I could find where going against the precepts of the Church is described as grave matter I'd have him coming and going but I can't find it anywhere.
See, the deadly sins are hard to apply to practical real-life situations, like vanity is a part of the sin of pride, but certainly most acts of vanity aren't grave.
(05-09-2009, 06:27 PM)Walty Wrote: [ -> ]See, the deadly sins are hard to apply to practical real-life situations, like vanity is a part of the sin of pride, but certainly most acts of vanity aren't grave.

The capital sins are the broad categories of sins. The crucial piece is the intent and the will. One can kill someone unjustly without committing a sin (an honest accident) but one can commit a mortal sin without doing anything at all.
The Ten Commandments, Precepts of the Church etc are a great place to start...

However, even in the application of the Ten Commandments for instance, may not be entirely obvious to someone lacking catechesis. Picture this: "Thou shalt not commit adultery". That's more of a broad category for all sins of impure actions...which are all grave, and go beyond the mere committing of adultery, e.g.: impure actions with yourself, fornication, etc. "Thou shalt not cover thy neigbour's wife" --not just that (though this is particularly evil), but anyone!

There's no official list of grave sins, but you could consider a simple - yet thorough - catechism as providing you with a semi-official list, when they explain the Ten Commandments, etc.
(05-09-2009, 06:39 PM)Rosarium Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-09-2009, 06:27 PM)Walty Wrote: [ -> ]See, the deadly sins are hard to apply to practical real-life situations, like vanity is a part of the sin of pride, but certainly most acts of vanity aren't grave.

The capital sins are the broad categories of sins. The crucial piece is the intent and the will. One can kill someone unjustly without committing a sin (an honest accident) but one can commit a mortal sin without doing anything at all.

Then how is one to know when one has comitted a mortal sin? ...if the intent is the sole determining factor?
(05-10-2009, 02:22 PM)Walty Wrote: [ -> ]Then how is one to know when one has comitted a mortal sin? ...if the intent is the sole determining factor?

I didn't say intent was the sole determining factor, so I can't answer that.

Intent is necessary, but it is not the only piece of the puzzle. I fully intended to type this out, but I didn't willfully violate God's will as revealed to me (maybe God uses Dvorak, I don't know, I'm using a QWERTY keyboard right now, but the key is knowingly).
3 Conditions for Mortal Sin Wrote:Grave matter
Full knowledge
Deliberate consent

Note:
From the Catechism of St. Pius X, "The Main Kinds of Sin," Question 9-10:
Q: What injury does mortal sin do the soul?
A: (1) Mortal sin deprives the soul of grace and of the friendship of God; (2) It makes it lose Heaven; (3) It deprives it of merits already acquired, and renders it incapable of acquiring new merits; (4) It makes it the slave of the devil; (5) It makes it deserve hell as well as the chastisements of this life.
Q: Besides grave matter, what is required to constitute a mortal sin?
A: To constitute a mortal sin, besides grave matter there is also required full consciousness of the gravity of the matter, along with the deliberate will to commit the sin.

Going .1 over the speed limit isn't a grave matter in most cases. So, with full knowledge of the violation and consenting to it, there is no mortal sin.

Seeing a fire and throwing what we believe is a bucket of water on it, but it turns out to be paint thinner (which I think is flammable) and it causes severe injuries or death to someone doesn't have full knowledge. It was a grave matter (serious injury/death), the person consented to doing it (pick up bucket, aim at fire, dump), but didn't do it with full knowledge (thought it was water). (This scenerio is based on a humourous scene in MASH, no one got hurt in the scene)

A police officer trying to make an arrest and being stabbed with needle and injected with heroin has a grave matter (using dangerous substances), full knowledge (the officer knows what heroin does) but not consent.

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