The 10 Most Ridiculous Mortal Sins of the Catholic Church

The 10 Most Ridiculous Mortal Sins of the Catholic Church August 17, 2018

 

Growing up in the Catholic Church is akin to being beaten with a stick every single day. Every day Catholic children are reminded of what is wrong with them. They learn from a young age that everything fun in life can be equated to sin. Believing in God is not a ticket to heaven for Catholics. Catholics must refrain from all mortal sins to get to heaven. Ten sins are so ridiculous many Catholics can’t go a day without committing one.

How is a mortal sin determined?

  • a sin of grave matter
  • sin that is committed with full knowledge of the sinner
  • the sin is committed with deliberate consent of the sinner

The second and third points are self-explanatory. However, what is a grave sin? Well, lucky for you the church has a long list of a sin that is considered grave. A grave sin becomes mortal when the “sinner” meets all three criteria.

Here are some of the ridiculous grave sins that can keep a Catholic out of Heaven:

Blasphemy – Or in today’s jargon, taking the Lord’s name in vain. Yep, if you defile the name of the lord or speak ill of God, you will burn in hell.

Using Birth Control – Birth control is prohibited for sexually active married couples. Sex is seen only as a vehicle to procreate more offspring. If you are Catholic, you better not have sex for pleasure. Any Catholic that prevents pregnancy in any form commits a mortal sin. This is why you commonly see Catholic families with what seems like 87 children.

Divorce – Married Catholics cannot divorce. Even if a marital partner is abusive, cheating, or emotionally absent, divorce is considered a mortal sin. This could explain why you see so many miserable couples remaining married in the Catholic Church.

A miserable marriage most certainly won’t affect the children and their wellbeing?

Wait, maybe that’s why so many families in the Catholic church are miserable and dysfunctional.

Makes perfect sense.

Masturbation – The Catholic Church thinks people that stroke one out are immature and incapable of self-control. Catholics are required to live chaste lives. Can you imagine how many teenage boys hide their “socks” from their moms?

Heresy – If a Baptized Catholic questions or denies any doctrine of the church they commit heresy. Well, that sounds a little bit culty, doesn’t it? Sure does! Members that question or doubt a “revealed truth” of the church are kept outside of Heaven.

Schism – If you thought Heresy was culty, schism takes things to the next level. Catholics must submit to the Pope no matter what. If a Catholic refuses to submit and obey the Pope, they commit a mortal sin. Even if a Pope is doing crazy things like not protecting children from being raped or sodomized, a Catholic is not allowed to question him or disobey his orders.

Practicing Magic – Gotta a cool card trick? Want to pull a rabbit out of a hat? If you are Catholic practicing magic in any form, is a ticket straight to hell.

Hatred – Do you have a neighbor that pisses you off? Well, if you are Catholic, you are not allowed to hate them. If you wish the person harm, you can go to hell. Do you understand what I’m saying here? A Catholic’s thoughts can send them to hell.

Getting Drunk – Tipping back one too many beers will send a Catholic straight to hell. The Catholic Church feels drunkenness is an endangerment to the life of the Catholic. Unfortunately, I know all too well that many Catholics commit this mortal sin every single weekend. I guess half of my dead ancestors are dancing in hell.

Drug Usage – Catholics are prohibited from using drugs of any kind unless it’s for medical reasons. I have a feeling there are a lot of Catholic’s in the world shaking in their boots with this revelation.

Catholicism makes it pretty hard for their members to get to heaven. Based on the above list, I know very few people that could actually meet the mark.

Heck, if you read the grand jury report released from Pennsylvania this week, Cardinals, Bishops, and Priests are missing out on the afterlife. Since there is proof the cover-up of the child sexual abuse scandal went all the way up to the Vatican, even the Pope is missing out on Heaven.

My guess is if there is a Catholic Heaven, the room is empty except for a dude named Jesus.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • I only have one argument here — divorce is permitted in the case of abuse, just not remarriage (unless you have an annulment). The rest look legit. And there are lots more. I’ve gotten into arguments about whether not saying “oh God” during sex is a mortal sin, or how long you can be fantasizing about someone before it’s a sin (answer: the moment you notice you’re doing it and keep going instead of forcing yourself to think about something else). French kissing before marriage is probably a yes but no one is quite sure.

  • Oh there are tons more! I just found the most ridiculous ones. I used Divorce solely because my grandparents were in a terrible marriage, should have divorced but did not divorce because of the church

  • Rann

    Actually divorce for cause is allowed- if you are being abused etc and have tried to get the other to reform, it’s not a sin.In fact, remaining and leaving yourself is a sin.

  • epeeist

    Child rape doesn’t seem to be on your list.

  • Rape is on the list – however, given the fact that Rape isn’t a ridiculous sin – not that I believe in sin – but if sin existed Rape would be a good mortal sin to add to the list.

  • Oh see how they do that – they take one rule away and apply another. So now you CAN get divorced and if you Don’t it’s a sin. You can’t win if you are catholic.

  • Ross W.

    Hello, Catholic Apologist here.
    Evaluation of the 10 sins is my main point here, but 5 other things to mention first.

    Beginning:
    1st point: Belief in God couldn’t be a ticket to heaven. Remember, the Devil believes in God, too.

    2nd point: Most of the ones on this list are pretty easy to “Go a day without committing one”. At least, I don’t know anyone who gets divorced daily. Each one represents either a choice and are easily avoided, or an addiction which probably removes the deliberate consent.

    End:
    3rd point: “Catholicism makes it pretty hard… to get to heaven”. Nope! Confession is free, regularly scheduled or by appointment, and open to all Catholics, some non-Catholics, and anyone who is near death. Every single mortal sin listed here can, and is frequently, forgiven. Heaven is far from empty (Saints are in heaven, and there are a lot of those).

    4th point: “Cardinals, Bishops, and Priest are missing out on the afterlife”. Yep! St. John Chrysostom (4th century) supposedly said “The road to hell is paved with the skulls of erring priests, with bishops as their signposts”. Ecclesial Authority is neither a guarantee of holiness or a ticket to heaven. All the Bishops (Which includes the Cardinals) and Priests actually have a harder time, since their use of the authority given to them is part of their judgment. Do not for a moment that those who died before their sins were brought to light have escaped judgement.

    Re Another Comment:
    5th Point: Agreed that Rape is not ridiculous. And it is actually a mortal sin two-three times over! Once as Adultery, Once as Grave harm to another, and Once (possibly) as a form of Murder. If Committed by a Priest or Religious authority, that adds another, and if covered up, another. Thus, the sins of a molesting priest could legitimately be Mortal sin in no less than Five separate ways.

    Main point: the accuracy of the 10 sins. Some of these are accurate, some misleading, and some just false. Let’s see:

    Blasphemy- Accurate. It is primarily condemning those who express hatred for God (thus showing that they do not, in fact, believe), or those who swear by God to try and show their own innocence (“I swear to God that I didn’t do it!”). While casual uses of “Jesus” or “God” should be avoided, they often are more habitual, which means they might not hit the third point of mortal sin: deliberate consent. See Mark 3:28-29, Exodus 20:7

    Birth Control – Accurate.

    Divorce – Misleading. While Divorce is always a grave matter, the reason for it is taken into account. Abusiveness, Cheating, Endangerment of Children are all valid reasons for divorce (Canon Law 1153). While being emotionally absent is not directly listed, depending on the circumstances, it could be classified as “rendering common life too difficult”, in which case divorce may also be valid for that. It is worth pointing out that the issue most people have with the church is not Divorce, but the remarriage to another that tends to follow. Even in the above circumstances, remarriage is sinful, per Jesus: Luke 16:18

    Masturbation – Accurate.

    Heresy – Misleading. Heresy is only sin resulting from obstinately denying infallible dogma of the Church. Note that questioning is not Heresy, and even denying is not Heresy, so long as nobody has tried to correct you. Plus, there are far more doctrines that aren’t infallible than those that are. What are some infallible ones? The best summation is the Nicene Creed (http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/). So, if you deny that Jesus is the Son of God, that may cause issues with your salvation by the power of Jesus, Son of God. Not that ridiculous in my mind.

    Schism – Misleading. Questioning the Pope or disagreeing with him are not Schism. Condemning Church leadership for Reprehensible behavior is not Schism. Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Henry VIII are all Schismatics. Someone who condemns the covering up of child abuse by the Bishops is not.

    Practicing Magic – Misleading/False. The Church’s definition of Magic is “The attempted taming of occult powers so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others” (Paraphrased from Catechism 2117). Card tricks and Rabbit hats do not fulfill this definition (Unless you are trying to do so by occult means, but that isn’t implied by your text here)

    Hatred – Accurate. This is actually the first time I have seen someone condemn the Church for encouraging Love. Never thought I would see the day. Anyway, yes, the second part of the greatest commandment states “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). Similar is Matthew 5:44-45. Catholics are required by the Church and God to Love (that is, desire what is best for them) all. Thus, if a person deliberately wishes Grave harm on someone, then this is a grave sin. Note that while a instinctive or reflexive ill thought may still be a minor sin, one must deliberately Choose to wish Grave harm for it to be a mortal sin.

    Getting Drunk – False. On this point the Church is quite specific. While Drunkenness may be a venial sin against temperance, it only becomes grave if this drunkenness endangers the safety of themselves or others (Catechism 2290). In the same paragraph it includes reckless driving as another grave sin. I don’t see condemning violent drunkenness or drinking and driving as ridiculous. It is also worth noting that addiction often removes the deliberate consent element required for grave sin, and this is true for the next one as well.

    Drug Usage – Accurate. See above.

  • Christopher Curzon

    One can easily mock beliefs that are silly, but can you deepen the level of discourse by describing what may actually be true?

  • Christopher Curzon

    Thanks to Ross W (below) for already having done this. I have little sympathy for mocking arguments. Substantial thought is far better and far more edifying.

  • Jim Jones

    If Jesus had been smart he would have invented alimony, not banned divorce.

  • Ross W.

    I am just glad someone read it! Starting a discussion by assuming that the other has a legitimate reason for holding their position often leads to a more amicable talk and a better resolution, even if this assumption is false.

  • You all are clearly missing the point that this is a snark piece. You are welcome to comment, but I am not claiming this to be a scholarly piece. If you want to be catholic – go be catholic. You are on an Atheist channel. On this channel we snark and mock. You don’t like it – then don’t read it

  • persephone

    I saw a minivan today with at least 12 of those stick figure children stickers on the back window, and a bumper sticker for the local Catholic radio station.

  • persephone

    The easier thing to do is not get married in a Catholic church. That way you don’t have to apply to the church for a divorce or annulment.

  • Ross W.

    I quite enjoy snark and mockery, even aimed at me. It’s just more effective when it is also accurate. For example, my favorite piece of snark about Catholicism: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/22093c90b12b28b72e435c814b168f4b83aa491307518e85b8650150e6899761.png

    That aside, below popped up your “Grandfather’s Funeral” article. As a Catholic and as (God willing) a future priest, allow me to say that the priest there was out of line, big time. One of the (easily mockable) Mortal sins you missed up above is the sin of Scandal, or driving someone away from God. While a comment on the internet means little, I would like to apologize on both his behalf and on behalf of the Church he represents. Make of it whatever you will.

  • Your opinion. Again, you are welcome to leave the forum and not read. No one is forcing you to read. I stand by my article.

  • told you!

  • Anat

    So how much does an atheist need to do to commit blasphemy according to Catholic doctrine? Is simply stating ‘I see no reason to believe in the deity that Catholics believe in’ blasphemy? How about ‘the deity the Catholics believe in is logically impossible’? ‘Or ‘if a being like the deity the Catholics believe in existed, such a being would be evil and I would not worship it’? or ‘if a being like the deity the Catholics believe in existed, such a being would be evil and I would do all I can to convince others not to worship it’?

  • Anat

    Most of the ones on this list are pretty easy to “Go a day without committing one”. At least, I don’t know anyone who gets divorced daily. Each one represents either a choice and are easily avoided, or an addiction which probably removes the deliberate consent.

    Ahem. I don’t think the OP meant that it is hard not to commit each of the above 10 every day, but that most people commit at least one of the above each day. For instance if one is using hormonal birth control they are taking it each day (or have an implant constantly in their body), whether they actually have sex or not. And while people could choose not to use birth control, most people (including apparently 98% of Catholics, at some point in their lives) arrive at the conclusion that it is better for them to use it than otherwise.

    Some of the others on the list are similarly choices that many people see as either trivial matters or things that for them are better engaged in than avoided.

  • Otto

    7 out if 10….I did pretty good.

  • In the good old days when I was a kid if you ate meat on Friday it was a mortal sin. Die with a hamburger in your mouth, and you went straight to hell.

    “impure thoughts” which covered a LOT of ground.

    recieving communion without going to confession beforehand. It was assumed that you were bad to the bone, and that 12-hour grace period was about all the average mortal could handle without falling into sin

    Missing Mass for no good reason.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “Heresy ”

    In 1992 the Catholic church admitted that Galileo was right & the Earth does orbit the Sun. But he is still considered a heretic by the Catholic church because he disagreed with the Catholic doctrine of 1633.

  • E.A. Blair

    Once, when I was in Catholic high school, I said, “Damn you!” to someone who deliberately bumped into me in the hallway and made me drop my books. One of the teaching nuns was nearby, and she said, “I guess we’re forgetting the second* commandment, aren’e we?” I gave her a very serious look and said, “No, sister. It says to ‘…not take the lord’s name in vain’. I didn’t take it in vain. I meant it. Very literally.”

    She looked surprised at what I said, so I followed it up with, “You have to remember the technicalities, sister. It’s how theologians and lawyers make their livings.”

    *Of course for many heretic Protestants, that’s the third commandment.

  • E.A. Blair

    Bullshit.

  • Jim X

    I wonder what jail will be like for priests. Ok, done wondering.

  • Phil

    Pointing out absurdities is a legitimate form of argument. reductio ad absurdum. And in many ways the only way to get someone to question their deeply held beliefs. Personally, the idea of a god is absurd. So not really any point in discussing the nuances of a particular religion.

  • Phil

    How can a saint be in heaven. Saints are declared saintly by humans not god. And what about last shall be first? Nobody is in heaven yet.

  • Facebook User

    Sin is an offence against God or to put it another way, it is breaking the law of God. Its a crime not against the civil law of the land but the civil law of God. Crime is that which cannot be tolerated. Thus Christians worthy of the name will not tolerate sin. They will vote so that the law of the land does not tolerate it either. Some sin breaches the civil law of God and the other sins violate his moral law.

    Sinner means the same thing as lawbreaker – the law concerned is the law of God. Law is needed to regulate human affairs – we can’t have chaos. So why does God need law? He doesn’t need it for he is powerful enough to stop say some president destroying the world in nuclear war. He doesn’t need to set up laws forbidding this.

    The concept of sin is necessarily vindictive. Sin is going against what God expects of us. He is unhappy when we sin. He hurts himself because we sin. If you feel hurt at the actions of others it is because you let yourself feel that way. God is all-powerful and does not need to suffer over our sins. If he does then he is punishing himself because we sin. He is mentally disturbed. He is angry at us for what he does to himself. He would take it out on us. He is vengeful.

    If somebody says they are a fool, you know this is not true. They are not summed up by any mistake they make or any wrong they do. But if you believe in sin that deserves and takes you to the everlasting punishment of Hell, mortal sin, then clearly you are to be summed up by your mortal sin. No wonder the Church says that if you commit a mortal sin of say masturbation and do not repent all the good you do will bring you no merit before God. He will not reward it for he sees it as you trying to be good on your terms not his. Mortal sin and hate go together.

    Prayer of Pope Pius XII which he composed for the Marian Year “Oh Immaculate Mother of Jesus and our Mother Mary … O Conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin, which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of Hell!”

    This prayer implies that we do not have a deep horror of sin and need it. So we must be sinners and hated by God. Mary is prayed to because God hates us. She has a civilising influence on God.

    Evil implies hateful. It implies very bad. It implies there is no goodness. This is far too strong. Life is not that black and white. There is no right and wrong or righteousness or unrighteousness. What you have is good and less good. To accuse people of being capable of evil is just excoriating them.

    Even if a person who does something with the “evillest” of intentions, the fact remains that they intended some good as well.

    To accuse somebody of sin or to say that sinners deserve Hell is really saying you hate them at some level. The hate is real no matter how much you pretend its not there. For the Church to condemn sin as very very serious and to make an abomination of it and then to let them off lightly with it shows its good training for somebody that wants to trivialise suicide bombings etc. The intention to trivialise is there in both cases. It shows that the Church is capable of being very uncaring and can easily descend into vindictiveness.

    To call somebody evil is to call them worthy of hate or hateful. To call somebody sinful is to add on to this. It is even worse.

    You receive somebody’s gospel. You make that message your own message.  It becomes all yours then.  You might have got it from somebody else but now that you have made the message your own you might as well have created it yourself. There is no difference in what it is like – how you got the message makes no difference. It does not matter any more if it was invented by you or the other person.

    With that in mind, we cannot believe Christians who go, “You feel we judge your sin. It is not us but the Bible that judges.” They are covering up their true attitude.

    To say that only God can judge is to say, “I would judge you if I knew and judge you as fit for Hell.” It sounds like, “I love you but…” Yet Christians who claim that saying God judges not them use this claim as proof that they actually love sinners! Keep your barbed love thanks very much guys!

    Christianity says sin is the worst evil for it insults the perfect and infinite love and goodness of God. So sin is worse than a plague that takes the whole world to a long and agonising death. Such a faith is neither sane nor good. When belief in God presents human evil as being that bad, the belief is simply vile.

    The concept of sin is vindictive. If somebody does wrong, its done. What matter is encouraging that person to open their heart to living a better life. That is what matters not categorising what they did as sin. It is true that if a person does evil the person deserves to suffer for it. But it is not that simple. It is not going to encourage the person to change for the better. If the person has it in them to change the person may change whether punishment is on the menu or not.

    There is no need for accusing anybody of sin even if there is a right to accuse of them of doing wrong. The concept of sin goes over and beyond what is needed. Thus it is clearly vindictive.

    Deserving means earning. If you hate anybody and wilfully wish evil on them, then you deserve to be hated similarly yourself. Many religions claim that hatred is wrong. But if they are to make any sense, they cannot say it is wrong because it is undeserved. Can they say that it is wrong because it is painful for the person who hates and sours them and can put things out of control? No – what if a person enjoys the pain and is going to die before it makes them completely nasty and bitter? They are forced to make do with the lame statement that God forbids hate. That is good for nothing. Its not a reason. To condemn hating is to condemn the choice of the person who chooses to hate. Your choice is never something you do – strictly speaking – but something you become.

    If you can’t deserve to be hated then you can’t deserve to be loved.

    If you say you love the sinner for the sinner is not all bad and hate the sin, that implies that if you met a person who has hardly any good qualities at all you would have to hate that person. It is saying you condone and encourage that. Even if you think no such person exists, the fact remains you hold hate in your heart. You would hate them if they did exist.

    The teaching that you reject an eternity of happiness with God by having sex outside marriage is really ordering you to reject it if you have this forbidden sex. The Church teaches that you can feel that this sex is good and even sacred and feel no need to repent. Then, rejecting God and true love can be deceptive. You can do it and convince yourself you are not doing it . The Church is saying that evil can be a clever counterfeit of love. It can blind you to the way to Heaven and leave you in Hell. Anyway the point is, the Church can say that those who live in sin are doing it wilfully even if they say their conscience is clear. The Catholic Church is saying, “If you masturbate then intend to commit mortal sin by it. See it as worse than what it is.” Such a religion would be the Devil’s work if there is a Devil!

    The belief that acts such as masturbation are seriously sinful and will take you away from God forever if you die is the cause of the intention to separate from God by this so-called sin. The Church keeps Hell full!

    The Handbook of Atheist Spirituality says that ethics is nothing more than doing what reflects my dignity (page 42). In other words, I demean myself if I hit a stranger on the street for nothing. If one is religious, one may feel uncomfortable with the thought that ethics is about me and not God. This shows that religious morality is about doing what looks good but not really about true concern for human dignity.

    Consider the following options.

    If I hit the stranger for nothing I demean my dignity.

    If I hit the stranger for nothing I demean God’s dignity for I must honour God by obedience.

    The first is more encouraging to the one who wishes to do good. The second is off-putting for its not about me but about God. And its about obedience and nobody likes to obey – they want to do things because they want to and not because its about obeying.

    The doctrine of sin is about obedience and thus is discouraging to the good person.

    Also, the more you think you have a reason to hit the stranger the less you demean yourself or God. If you think God has a purpose for evil – and he will do if he lets you do it – then it follows that of the following:

    If I hit the stranger I demean my dignity.

    If I hit the stranger I demean God’s dignity for I must honour God by obedience.

    The first option gives the biggest incentive not to hit. Belief in God diminished the incentive a bit at least. It might not be noticeable but its there.

    We regard the usage of terms such as tinker as indicating hatred for the travelling community. It is time we had the same attitude to those who use the term sin or sinner. The Christian may say, “I say I am a sinner and I say others are sinners. I do not do this in a spirit of pride but in humility for I am saying I am a sinner as well.” But that is an attempt to manipulate. What would you think of somebody who said, “Everybody is scum but I am scum too!” Would that be any improvement? No. Indeed including yourself makes it worse! You are important too! And if you think everybody is scum but you, you are saying, “I can be better than they are and be good to them. And I will be.” If you think you are scum you won’t help.

    One notorious example of Roman Catholic vindictiveness is in the Roman Catholic doctrine that it is a mortal sin to miss Mass on Sunday through your own fault. Unless you get forgiveness, you will be punished forever in Hell for this sin. It is a huge punishment for what on the face of it seems to be a small act of service. The Church reasons that missing Mass is done with such great malice that the smallness of the service is what makes the sin so bad. One out of contempt for God refuses to do the small service for him. But that does not explain how missing Mass is a hell-deserving sin. It only accounts for the disposition behind missing Mass. In reality, saying missing Mass is a mortal sin means that you will go to Hell forever by divine law regardless of how much or how little you hate God. Hating God intensely would be a separate sin altogether.

    Sin is a vindictive concept.

    It may be wrong to respond in a hateful way to a person who hates you. But to be vindictive against a system is different. If religion has hateful attitudes to certain wrongs then it has to admit that secularists have the right to hate its masses, its holy statues, its Bible, its teachings and to try and turn people against them.

  • I deleted the comment – I don’t need an essay on my blog.

  • Ross W.

    The Catechism phrases it:

    “Blasphemy consists in uttering against God – inwardly or outwardly – words of hatred, reproach, or defiance; in speaking ill of God; in failing in respect toward him in one’s speech; in misusing God’s name. It is also blasphemous to make use of God’s name to cover up criminal practices, to reduce peoples to servitude, to torture persons or put them to death. The misuse of God’s name to commit a crime can provoke others to repudiate religion. Blasphemy is contrary to the respect due God and his holy name. It is in itself a grave sin.”

    Everything from here is personal opinion and not formal teaching. The Catechism is written with the intent of instructing faithful Catholics, and applying it directly as stated above to a non-Catholic (as I presume you are) would probably be incorrect. Specifically, full knowledge/ deliberate consent may also be lacking. If a practicing Catholic were to claim that “God is evil”, with full knowledge of what they are saying and of why they shouldn’t, then yes, it would be blasphemy.

    The above is all for the Mortal sin of blasphemy. If you would also count Venial sins, than any of them would probably be enough.

  • First – this is snark, and my column is on an atheist channel 🙂

  • Ross W.

    Ten sins are so ridiculous many Catholics can’t go a day without committing one.

    OP specifically said that Catholics “can’t” go a day. That means that it is not only hard but impossible for them to. And I specifically acknowledged in the quote you selected there that most of them represent a “choice”, just as you said. Birth control is a choice, thus the can go a day, they just won’t. Had OP said “most Catholic (don’t/wouldn’t/aren’t going to) go a day, I would agree with you. But OP specifically said “Can’t”. It is that word alone I take issue with.

  • Ross W.

    I find that taking people seriously when they tell a joke tends to be more fun. And you should already have picked up that I am perfectly happy answering non-serious questions in full detail.

  • You are taking issue with snark. That my friend is hilarious

  • Ross W.

    Well, I am having fun, too. So if we both are having a good time, isn’t that what really matters?

    That aside, here I was taking issue with a differing interpretation of snark. You may very well have meant what Anat thinks you meant. I can only go off of what you wrote.

  • I get it. I like to say can’t interchangeably with won’t. Maybe it’s that I’m a parent to an almost 6 year old and Can’t is his favorite word 😉

  • Ross W.

    The word “Saint” for Catholics has a specific meaning. A Saint is a person who is in heaven, period. The Church also teaches that, along with the general judgement at the end of days (think Revelation), there is also a particular judgement that happens upon death (think the Good Thief “Today you will be with me in paradise”). The Thief clearly did not wait until the end of days to enter into paradise, thus it must be possible to do so outside of the general judgement, hence the particular judgement.

    As for the declaration of saints, the Church does not do so without cause. You can read an excellent case study here of Saint Mother Theresa here ( http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/the-miracles-that-made-mother-teresa ), but in short, the potential saint must have two miracles attributable to their name. Essentially, if someone prays to a potential Saint, and a miracle happens in response, we take that as evidence that this person is in heaven interceding with God for the person praying. Most often these are medical healings. The process is, if the local doctors can find no reason for the sudden recovery, the Church packages up all the records for the case and sends them to another doctor for a second opinion. This doctor usually meets two criteria: They are Atheist/Agnostic, and won’t know that the case is coming from the Church. If this doctor also agrees that the recovery is not explainable, then it is considered legitimate.

    One of the happy side effects is that, after they have given the second opinion and been told about why they were sent the case, many of these doctors end up converting, or at least being much less sure about their Atheism.

  • Saints are ridiculous

  • Anat

    Sometimes the consequences of a choice are such that one finds them beyond contemplation. For many not using birth control is such a choice.

    Yes, the author said ‘can’t’, and I think what she meant was that factually they don’t, and if it were such a big deal you’d expect them to try to avoid those things, but it is a fact that they do them anyway, so they probably can’t avoid at least one such action a day.

  • Ross W.

    Ah, “can’t”, “no”, and “don’t wanna”, the favorite words of kids everywhere.

    Anyway, probably the last you see of me (unless Phil/Anut respond). People who continually antagonize comment sections of a site/column are irritating, so I won’t be back. Best of luck to you and your son.

  • Ross W.

    The author has clarified:

    I like to say can’t interchangeably with won’t.

    Therefore, I concede the point.

    Perfect Timing, btw:

    Anyway, probably the last you see of me (unless Phil/Anut respond).

  • Phil

    But never an amputee

  • Ross W.

    That could mean one of two things. You probably don’t mean that an amputee cannot be a Saint (both a pointless and false https://catholicsaints.info/tag/saints-who-were-amputees/ statement). So I assume you mean that there have been no recorded miracles of an amputee being healed of their amputation.

    While it is true that there have been no amputees who regrew limbs in the last hundred years (and I imagine that you understand my skepticism of any accounts from much before that). That said, I don’t think that stands as much of an argument against the teaching on the saints for a few reasons:

    First, most of the healings tend to be in either life-threatening or excruciatingly painful cases where medicine has failed already. Perhaps this is because those people, with nowhere else to turn, are more open to God. Or because these people are more in need of help than an amputee who would survive, if encumbered, without divine intervention. I cannot claim to know why miracles occur when they do.

    Second, it seems to imply that since God has not healed all types of injuries then legitimate healings are not actually real. If two people have been cured of cancer, and one person doesn’t regrow a leg, that doesn’t diminish the status of the two cancer cures. Also, this applies to both God and Science. Both of them have cured (or put into remission) cancer, but neither have regrown limbs (that we are aware of).

    Finally, this statement shows a kind of self-focused bias on your part. You seem to be saying that unless a miracle is one that you personally can investigate then you won’t accept it. You would be able to examine a person who has regrown a limb and validate it for yourself, unlike, say, a massive inoperable brain tumor. It is also a much more visible thing, and thus much feels much more real. The real problem here is not that the miracles the Church have recorded are not medically verified (since they are, and by non-believers) or that they are not indeed miraculous but that the simply don’t feel miraculous enough to you.

    In summary, I am asserting that the Church has, as best as possible, verified some medical miracles. You seem to be taking issue with the fact that we have never had cause to validated a specific kind. This does not really hurt my argument, since I never claimed that God has performed every time of miracle.

  • your argument is silly and ridiculous. God doesn’t exist.

  • Phil

    Well justified. They got rid of the devil’s advocate so they don’t have to look into these so called miracles anymore.