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Life in Christ

455

conversion of heart which is normally accomplished within the

setting of the sacrament of reconciliation:

When the will sets itself upon something that is of its nature

incompatible with the charity that orients man toward his

ultimate end, then the sin is mortal by its very object . . .

whether it contradicts the love of God, such as blasphemy or

perjury, or the love of neighbor, such as homicide or adul-

tery. . . . But when the sinner’s will is set upon something that

of its nature involves a disorder, but is not opposed to the

love of God and neighbor, such as thoughtless chatter or im-

moderate laughter and the like, such sins are venial.

130

1857

For a

sin

to be

mortal,

three conditions must together be

met: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is

also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.”

131

1858

Grave matter

is specified by the Ten Commandments, corre-

sponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: “Do not kill,

Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false

witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother.”

132

The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft.

One must also take into account who is wronged: violence against

parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger.

1859

Mortal sin requires

full knowledge

and

complete consent.

It

presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its

opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently

deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness

of heart

133

do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary

character of a sin.

1860

Unintentional ignorance

can diminish or even remove the

imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant

of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the con-

science of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can

also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can

external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through

malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.

130 St. Thomas Aquinas,

STh

I-II, 88, 2,

corp. art.

131

RP

17 § 12.

132

Mk

10:19.

133 Cf.

Mk

3:5-6;

Lk

16:19-31.

2072

2214

1734

1735

1767