Sin and Its Consequences
Since the Modernist revolution took place in the 1960's Roman Catholics throughout the world, but particularly in Europe, the United States and Canada, have been subjected to a constant bombardment of false doctrine concerning sin and its consequences. Sadly, many Catholics have been lured away from the fullness of truth and have swallowed hook, line and sinker the philosophical system foisted on them under the guise of "a more compassionate view of human nature." The basic tenant of the New Church morality consists of the idea that as long as you "don't hurt any one" then you are not committing a sin. This extends even further. Even if you do hurt someone you are probably not really culpable for your actions because the circumstances in your past or present mitigated your responsibility. All sinners in this philosophical world view are victims. Thus , the murderer can be excused of his crime of murder because his mother drank when he was a fetus, or he was beaten as a child by an over- bearing father, or he was a drug addict at the time of the murders and really didin't know what he was doing. In other words, there is always an excuse and therefore very few people can be held responsible for their "mistakes" or "failings".
An illustration of the Modernist concept of sin can be seen from an incident that took place in my own life. In my quest for the priesthood, I ended up in the diocese of Santa Rosa, California and was accepted as an "intern". I had completed all my theological studies, in Rome and was ready to be ordained. They placed me as a religion teacher for sophmore and junior high school students at a small parish school in Petaluma, California. What a wonderful experience. I dedicated myself to teaching these students their Catholic faith with great zeal. I knew that once these kids were exposed to the richness of the Catholic Faith they would fall in love with it. And so they did. Most of these students had been in Catholic schools all their lives and when I tested them on the first day of class, to see how much they knew, it was frightening to see their lack of understanding. Out of the 85 students that I tested on that day only about 4 answered the majority of questions correctly and these were very basic questions. Their exposure to the Catholic Faith was minimal if not totally nonexistent because of the modernist education they had received. As I began to teach them the Faith they became more and more on fire with love for it. Later, I was informed by others that many of the students had actually inspired their parents to return to full participation in the Church and as a family they would all go to Confession and to holy Mass. The truth is an exciting thing when one is finally exposed to it.
Now, why did I bring this incident up in an article about sin and guilt? Let me explain. Because I was able to teach these young men and women solid Roman Catholic teaching in a way that they not only understood also about which they became enthusiastic, I became a grave threat to the Modernist agenda in the Santa Rosa Diocese. Consequently, when the first semester had come to an end, and time came for my first review, Sister Maureen, the feminist principal of the high school, called me into her office to report that she had given me a "terrible" review because of my "backward, Pre-Vatican II theology" and wanted to know what I thought I was doing teaching "all this stuff" to these impressionable kids. You must realize that I had never been confrontational about the Faith with anyone there. In fact, I had gone out of my way to be as non-confrontational as possible (if you can believe that). I asked many times how I was doing during the semester and the reviews were always very positive. Because the students were so ill informed about Catholic teaching I had to incorporate the basics of the Catholic Faith into the main subject matter required by the curriculum. For example, I taught the juniors, in their class on the sacraments, the Ten Commandments as the foundation to understanding the Sacrament of Confession. So you can imagine my amazement when Sister asked me "What do the 10 Commandments have to do with the Sacraments anyway?" I very gently explained to her, as I would to a little child, that in order to be able to confess one's sins one needed to know what sin was and the best way to know how one offends God and neighbor is to learn God's Commandments. She then launched into a tirade about my "emphasis" on mortal sin. Actually my emphasis was on love contrasted to mortal sin, its opposite. And here's the point: she proclaimed indignantly that, "These kids are incapable of committing a mortal sin." My response to this incredible statement was, "I don't know about you, Sister, but at that age I was more than capable of committing mortal sin and did it quite often, as I recall." This seemed to end that part of the conversation. I'm sorry it took me so long to get to my point. But I was forced to set the scene. Nevertheless, the bottom line is that these Modernists do not believe people are capable of sinning and will give any excuse they can to deny sin altogether. They even deny the fact that we are born with original sin by so redefining this dogma that it no longer has any resemblance to the Roman Catholic dogma. The Catholic Church has always taught that the only human person ever conceived without original sin was the Blessed Virgin Mary. The phony Modernist "theologians" today imply, if not explicitly proclaim, that we are all immaculately conceived. This , of course, is false and twisted doctrine but it has permeated our Catholic schools and institutions of higher learning for more than 30 years.
Doctrine on Sin
The Real Roman Catholic doctrine on sin and its consequences is both reasonable and balanced. It proclaims the essential dignity and intrinsic freedom of man and the fact that each rational individual alone is personally responsible for his or her actions and the consequences thereof.
Before we look at the actual teaching of the Church on sin it would be beneficial to have a brief understanding of the terms "objective" and "subjective." Simply speaking, the term objective refers to anything that stands on its own independent of any one person's preception of it. In the moral order an objective moral precept applies universally to all humanity, in every place and at all times, e.g., the prohibition against adultery. Subjective, on the other hand, refers to an individual's response to an objective influence. In the moral order this would apply to the individual's response within the context of the moral law, e.g, committing the act of adultery.
SIN: A deliberate act of a rational individual's will, either in thought, word, action or omission, which is contrary to the will of God. The guilt and consequences of sin are determined by the intent of the individual, the seriousness of the offense and the circumstances surrounding the offense. However, it must be noted that there are certain actions which, by their very nature, constitute an objectively grave offense against God and His laws. These "intrinsically evil" acts of the will violate the objective law of God in two ways: First, because they usurp God's authority over His creation and, secondly, because they bring disorder and disharmony to the intended natural order and harmony of God's creation.
There are two kinds of sin: mortal and venial. The difference between the two can be described as the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor. A venial sin transgresses God's law but is not of its nature seriously disordered or as damaging. For example, saying a cuss word can be considered a venial sin A mortal sin, however, deals specifically with objectively serious matter. A mortal sin has the effect of a felony in the secular order in the way it affects not only the person but society as a whole. The action, thought , word or omission of action that would do injury both to God's justice and authority and also injure oneself and/or others, such as, deliberately missing Holy Mass on Sunday or a Holy Day of Obligation is a good example of a mortal sin.
Now a sin is only a sin when the person committing the transgression is aware that his actions are against the will of God and he chooses to do them anyway. This knowledge does not have to be explicit nor expressed. One knows things simply by the natural dictates of the Natural Law and does not necessarilty have to be "informed" by an authority. We all a have a natural sense of what is right and wrong particularly in regards to those things which are dictated by the Natural Law God has woven within the very fiber of our being. In these things we also have a certain perception of the gravity of a particular action
The greatest problem lies in the fact that human beings have an incredible ability to rationalize and give excuses for any action we do that we "know" is not right. We will do anything to justify ourselves because we don't want to accept the limitation of our humanity and the failure to do what it right. Therefore we will bend over backward to convince ourselves and those around us that what we want to do, even if it's wrong, it is right for us.
Now that I have provided at least a brief foundation for a correct understanding about sin I would like to give two concrete examples of how a particular serious transgression against the eternal law and objective will of God can have different results and effects on the subjective level in an individual. It is important to note that every action we do has a consequence; therefore, every individual action must be weighted by the application of the above-referenced principles to determine whether or not the person who transgressed the law can be held fully responsible and therefore guilty. The Modernist attempts to analysize sin from a continuous attitude. They call this the "fundamental option" or choice. The Roman Catholic, on the other hand, looks at every action on an individual basis and analysizes each transgression by the same set of criteria.
Rufus Freespirit is a college student at the local Catholic University. He considers himself "a faithful Catholic" and in fact, goes to Mass not only on Sundays but as often as he can during the week. He has a girlfriend with whom he has had an ongoing relationship for 2 years. Often after he goes to Mass in the evening he will head over to his girlfriend's to "spend the night". When confronted by a friend that to have premarital sex is a mortal sin Rufus snaps back, "It's not a sin if we love each other."
Buddy Niceguy is a mechanic who works at his dad's auto shop. He was raised in a Protestant family who went to church most every Sunday especially when he was young. He was taught basic morality by his parents but they were pretty typical in regards to 1990's American culture attitudes. He also has a girlfriend whom he has known for 2 years. The sexual aspect of their relationship is expected and implicitly condoned by their parents. After a conversion experience of accepting Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior Buddy tells his girlfriend that he wants to remain pure until they get married. However, that very night before he was going home they kissed and the old habit of their passion over took them. He fought it as much as possible but gave in. Nonetheless, he stopped before he completed the act because he was still fighting his passion. He got up. Got dressed and went home.
Now, who do you think had the greater guilt and culpability of a mortal sin? It is important to note that this is the process that every good confessor must go through to help the penitents understand his culpability and the mitigating circumstances that may surround the particular objectively wrong action.