Theology Q and A (closed)

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25 Responses to Theology Q and A (closed)

  1. Vít Lacman says:

    Venial sin does not merit hell, but can a venial sin become a mortal one? I have read from st. Thomas Aquinas that venial sin becomes mortal when someone fixes his end in it. I have also read that fixing one’s end should mean something like be willing to do for all eternity. Is st. Thomas right? What do you think?

    • Ron Conte says:

      There would be better modern descriptions to answer that question. There are three fonts of morality. An objectively venial sin would become objectively mortal with a gravely disordered intention, or if the bad effects gravely outweigh the good effects (as reasonably anticipated). So stealing a small sum or thing of small value is venial, unless there is a malicious intention, or one can anticipate grave harm.

  2. Vít Lacman says:

    I will quote here a few paragraphs from the Baltimore catechism:

    389. Will God forgive us any sin unless we have true contrition for it?
    God will not forgive us any sin, whether mortal or venial, unless we have true contrition for it.

    390. When is sorrow for sin true contrition?
    Sorrow for sin is true contrition when it is interior, supernatural supreme, and universal.

    393. When is our sorrow supreme?
    Our sorrow is supreme when we hate sin above every other evil, and are willing to endure any suffering rather than offend God in the future by sin.

    Does this mean, that when I am at confession, I must be so minded, that I would rather be tortured on the rack, than to commit the same mortal sin again, if I want forgiveness from God? How can I achieve this? How can anyone other than the most devout saints be forgiven.
    The Council of Trent and st. John Vianney say something similar:

    The Council of Trent insists that true contrition includes the firm will never to sin again, so that no mater what evil may come, such evil must be preferred to sin.

    Christians who has sinned and wishes to obtain pardon, must be so minded that he would rather suffer the most cruel tortures than fall back into the sin which he has just confessed.

    Thank you very much for all of your answers. This is my last question.

    • Ron Conte says:

      394 asks when is our sorrow “supreme”. But our contrition is sufficient even when it is imperfect, and is motivated by an ordered love of self, such as considering the disgrace of sin, or to avoid Hell, to go to Heaven, to be a better person, and is accompanied by the Sacrament of Confession (or in some cases extreme unction). So you don’t need the supreme sorrow stated in the Baltimore Catechism. Also, it is not good to cite ancient teachings without considering the light shed on those teaching by more recent magisterial teachings.

      Trend did not say what you claim. We are not required to have such an extremely Saintly view of sin and its avoidance, although that would be the supreme and praiseworthy case. No, we do not need to be willing to suffer torture rather than commit any sin.

      True contrition requires the resolve to try to avoid all actual mortal sin, first and foremost, and also to avoid lesser sins as much as possible. But Trent teaches that we fallen sinners are not able — except in special cases like the Virgin Mary — to avoid all venial sin. So our resolve clearly need not be to never commit any sin again at all.

      You are drawing conclusions from too few sources. See my book Forgiveness and Salvation for Everyone.

    • Vít Lacman says:

      Baltimore catechism doesn’t speak in these paragraphs about perfect/imperfect contrition. As I understand it, it says that even imperfect contrition must be supreme. And explicitly says that God will not forgive us any sin, unless we have true contrition for it. Also when I mentioned Council of Trent I quoted directly from the Catholic encyclopedia, which spoke about Trent. I know very well that it is not infallible but Trent is.

    • Ron Conte says:

      You have to stop treating the Baltimore catechism as if it were the entire Catholic Magisterium. The difference between perfect and imperfect contrition, previously termed contrition (perfect) and attrition (imperfect) was taught by Aquinas in the 13th century, by the Council of Trent, and still today. No, contrition does not need to be supreme. That is not a dogma; that is not correct. It is sufficient to have imperfect contrition plus the Sacrament of Confession. That is the dogma of Trent and the continuous teaching of the Church.

      I translated the entire set of doctrines of Trent from the original Latin. The Council teaches just as I said. And I think you are misinterpreting the Baltimore Catechism, but in any case, look at the wider teachings of the Church. Too narrow a focus on too few sources can lead to misinterpretation.

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