Friday, May 30, 2008

Litany of Heresies #5

Claiming that the distinction between mortal and venial sins was a “pre-Vatican II” idea.

The distinction between mortal and venial sins has been taught since the Apostles.[1]

The teaching has remained constant ever since.[2] It has also been stated by the Council of Trent:

Whence it is gathered that all the mortal sins, of which, after a diligent examination of themselves, they are conscious, must needs be by penitents enumerated in confession, even though those sins be most hidden, and committed only against the two last precepts of the decalogue,--sins which sometimes wound the soul more grievously, and are more dangerous, than those which are committed outwardly. For venial sins, whereby we are not excluded from the grace of God, and into which we fall more frequently, although they be rightly and profitably, and without any presumption declared in confession, as the custom of pious persons demonstrates, yet may they be omitted without guilt, and be expiated by many other remedies. But, whereas all mortal sins, even those of thought, render men children of wrath, and enemies of God, it is necessary to seek also for the pardon of them all from God, with an open and modest confession.[3]

[1] 1 John 5:17.
[2] Tertullian, De Anima §35; St. Cyprian of Carthage, Letters 51:20; St. Jerome, Against Jovinian 2:30; Pope John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor §69-70; Catechism of the Catholic Church 1854.
[3] Council of Trent, Session XIV, Chapter V, On Confession.

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