Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Fifth Commandment

All of the posts under the "Fifth Commandment" category.

Mortal Sin Against the Fifth Commandment – Injuring Another

The Fifth Commandment: “You Shall Not Kill”

stone-tablet-fifth-commandmentWillfully Injuring Or Trying to Hurt Another Person

It is not exactly the most obvious of mortal sins against this commandment, after all, why is hurting somebody a mortal sin when you don’t kill them?

When you are willfully trying to injure or hurt another person, generally speaking there is hatred in your heart. Remember that hatred is a mortal sin. You then take that hatred and give it a physical manifestation, that is hurting another person or injuring them.

The thing is, when we strike at another individual with this intention, it is not out of love. We are destroying their body. We break their bones, or tear their skin. We draw forth blood, blood that should remain within their bodies.

We are killing parts of their bodies. They may still be alive, but we are killing body parts.

St. Paul writes in the first letter to the Corinthians:

Or know you not, that your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, whom you have from God; and you are not your own? For you are bought with a great price. Glorify and bear God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Each and every single person, Catholic or Protestant, Muslim or Jew, Pagan or Atheist, has a body, and that body is a temple for the Holy Spirit. They also have the free will to choose to become Catholic to embrace salvation. But regardless, the body is meant as a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit to reside. Attacking another person (especially a Catholic) is desecration of the body. Physically harming a priest, bishop, cardinal or pope gives an automatic excommunication.


What about if you are being physically harmed by an assailant? Are you allowed to defend yourself by causing physical harm to them?

Yes. We must look at St. Thomas Aquinas’ principle of double effect. Double effect is comprised of 3 principles being (taken from Wikipedia):

  1. The nature of the act is itself good, or at least morally neutral;
  2. The agent intends the good effect and not the bad either as a means to the good or as an end itself;
  3. The good effect outweighs the bad effect in circumstances sufficiently grave to justify causing the bad effect and the agent exercises due diligence to minimize the harm.

When it comes to self-defense and using the principle of double effect we find that it is okay because:

  1. The act of defending one’s self from physical harm is a good. We have every right to live.
  2. You are intending to defend yourself from the assailant. You are hurting them, but that is not your intention. You are not seeking out their injury.
  3. You are defending yourself and are using your best means to subdue the individual with the minimal damage to them as possible. That is if you have to break their arm in order to prevent further harm to come to you, then that is all you do, nothing more. Each situation is different and maybe pinning them is all you need in one circumstance. But, you are using due diligence to determine and assess your situation.

Defending one’s self is not a mortal sin. But causing physical harm is. Boxing and other forms of martial arts, for the purpose of fighting, seems to be a mortal sin as your intention is to hurt each other and cause physical harm. Taking a self-defense class and practicing on each other would fall under double-effect as you are learning so that you can defend yourself if the situation was needed down the road.

Now, St. John Chrysostom is famous for saying in regards to blasphemy:

And should you hear any one in the public thoroughfare, or in the midst of the forum, blaspheming God; go up to him and rebuke him; and should it be necessary to inflict blows, spare not to do so. Smite him on the face; strike his mouth; sanctify your hand with the blow, and if any should accuse you, and drag you to the place of justice, follow them thither; and when the judge on the bench calls you to account, say boldly that the man blasphemed the King of angels!

Notice that St. John actually encourages you to physically harm someone if they commit blasphemy. These would not be sinful to do, as someone who blasphemies against God causes insult to Him. As the blasphemer is causing insult to God, they are causing damage to themselves, and you are defending the Lord.

Intentionally injuring another person or attempting to is a mortal sin. Go to confession.

Jeff July 8, 2014 1 Comment Permalink

Mortal Sin Against the Fifth Commandment – Sterilization

The Fifth Commandment: “You Shall Not Kill”


Sterilization is the act in which a man or a woman intentionally go through either a physical or chemical surgery that renders themselves incapable of reproducing. It is essentially the same as if you were to neuter your male pet or spay your female pet.

There are several different methods in which poor souls can sterilize themselves:

Vasectomy (male): When the tubes that carry the sperm are severed. Can be reversed, but is not guaranteed to be successful.

Tubal ligation (female): Similar to above. The tubes are tied so that an egg can not drop and sperm can not get to the egg. Reversal is more successful.

Hysteroscopic sterilization (female): Permanent sterilization. No reversal.

Hysterectomy (female): Removal of the uterus and potentially the womb. This is permanent. There are exceptions to this procedure.

Intentionally sterilizing yourself or forcing another individual to sterilize themselves is a mortal sin because you are killing a part of your body. You are murdering a perfectly healthy aspect as reproduction is the normal and healthy aspect of being a person.

Men are always able to reproduce, and women over time will not be able to reproduce after they go through menopause. This is natural. It is the way God created it.


Sterilization removes God from the picture of how your body is going to reproduce. You are saying that you know when you are going to create another person. Since most of sterilizations are permanent, much like murder, you murder your body and lose the most basic aspect of advancing the human race. It also goes directly against God’s commandment in Genesis:

And God blessed them, saying:Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth. Genesis 1:28

When He said this to Adam and Eve, remember they were married and this was not a commandment to go and sleep with whoever you want. Sex is for marriage. We will go over this in the 6th Commandment.

The healthy, natural, and normal aspect of your reproduction system, despite what society and the culture tell us, is to be able to reproduce. Intentionally destroying this for selfish reasons as not wanting more children is an insult and a blasphemy to God. Similarly to the Original Sin, you become your own god.

In some instances, getting a hysterectomy is not a mortal sin. For example, if a woman develops uterine cancer and she must get a hysterectomy lest she die. This is not a mortal sin as the intention is to save the life of the woman, not to destroy her reproduction cycle. The intention must be to save the life of the patient in any surgery in which sterilization becomes an unavoidable side effect. If the purpose is to intentionally sterilize the patient, it is a mortal sin.

If you have undergone a sterilization procedure for the reason of being sterile, you need to go to confession as soon as possible. You should also attempt to reverse the procedure if you can. Remember also that this post isn’t to condemn, but to lovingly point out error so that you can return to the state of grace and be received into God’s Kingdom.

Mortal Sin Against the Fifth Commandment – Hatred

The Fifth Commandment: “You Shall Not Kill”

stone-tablet-fifth-commandmentWillfully Harboring Hatred For Another

Hatred is a sin that kills the heart. It destroys innocence. It is un-Christian simply because as Christians we are all called to be Christ-like. Christ does not hate anyone, but He loves us all.

Jesus mentions in both the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, that we are called to love as He does. When Jesus is asked which of all the Commandments is the greatest, we read in Matthew:

Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. [40] On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets. Matthew 22:36-39

Similarly,we read in Mark:

And there came one of the scribes that had heard them reasoning together, and seeing that he had answered them well, asked him which was the first commandment of all. And Jesus answered him: The first commandment of all is, Hear, O Israel: the Lord thy God is one God. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength. This is the first commandment. And the second is like to it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is no other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:28-31

Jesus makes it crystal clear. We are to love one another as He has loved us. We are to love our enemies and pray for them!

Jesus Christ Eucharist

Hate is the absence of love. And the absence of love is the absence of Christ. And the absence of Christ is the complete removal and disconnect from the state of grace.

There are people who upset us and the devil uses this as opportunities to tempt us into giving into hatred. Being upset with someone is not the same as hating them. Being upset with someone is a perfectly normal reaction, especially when someone does something sinful and should know better.

Bigotry is a sin because you hate someone for something that they are. What makes bigotry worse than hatred is that it is hatred specifically because of something that they are.

It is never right to hate anybody. No matter what they have done. If you are going to hate anything, hate sin. Hate sin so much that you avoid it any time it rears its ugly head. Sin destroys everything and ruins your relationship with God. Sin makes us worthy of that eternal punishment below.

If you are struggling with anger, take it to confession. God hates your sin, but He doesn’t hate you. Likewise, hate sin and not each other. The same way that Christ forgives your sin in the confessional, forgive others what they have done to you. Make amends, talk with them and depending on the situation, continue having them in your lives. If this is not a possibility and having them in your life continues pain and anger, keep them away until you have healed.

Love one another as Christ loves you. Forgive others of their trespasses, as God forgives you of your trespasses.

Jeff June 13, 2014 2 Comments Permalink

Mortal Sin Against the Fifth Commandment – Suicide/Euthanasia

The Fifth Commandment: “You Shall Not Kill”

stone-tablet-fifth-commandmentAttempting or Intending Suicide
Serious Entertainment of Suicidal Thoughts
Promotion of or Involvement in Euthanasia

First and foremost, I understand that suicide is a touchy subject. But regardless, suicide is a mortal sin and this needs to be addressed. Sin is sin and in condoning it to not hurt someone else’s feelings, allows for someone else to believe that it is okay to commit this act. It simply isn’t beneficial to anyone. If you happen to know someone who has committed suicide, this isn’t a post to hurt you. It is a post to help prevent others to experience your pain and save souls.

Suicide is a mortal sin because it is self-murder. Murder as we discussed a few posts back is an obvious mortal sin against the commandment “Thou Shalt Not Murder”. You intentionally take the life of someone, though with suicide you intentionally are taking your own life or are trying to take your own life.

Attempting to kill oneself constitutes grave matter. If you are successful you are dead and thus have committed a grave sin without repenting of it. Likewise if you attempt and fail, you still have committed a mortal sin due to your attempt to take an innocent human life. I can not think of a time in which suicide would be deemed a heroic act. No matter how you look at the situation, it ends with your attempt at intentionally taking a life, even if it is your own.

We know from sacred scripture and tradition that Judas hanged himself after Jesus was handed over to be scourged and eventually crucified:

Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned, deeply regretted what he had done. He returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? Look to it yourself.” Flinging the money into the temple, he departed and went off and hanged himself. Matthew 27:5-7

Judas Hangs Himself

Judas Hangs Himself

Jesus even mentions in Matthew 26:24 that it would have been better had Judas not been born: “The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed: it were better for him, if that man had not been born.” There is most definite punishment for Judas.

In regards to serious entertainment of thought of suicide, it is to be made clear that this is not just a brief or passing thought. This is when you have the thought and you hold on to it. You start planning out how you would go about doing it. Like Jesus said in regards to lust that “He who lusts after a woman commits adultery in his heart…” so to if you think about killing yourself and planning it out, you have committed murder/suicide in your heart.

Let me be very, very clear here. If you are actively fighting against planning it out, you are not committing a mortal sin. The seriousness of the sin is when you stop resisting and fighting the temptation. I highly suggest that if it is common for suicidal thoughts to pop into your head you should talk to a priest first and take his advice. Perhaps based on his suggestion, you may need to seek professional help.

Euthanasia or assisted suicide is when an individual wants to die and they get someone to “put them down” like Old Yeller. Being in favor of or actually engaging in this puts your soul at risk. If suicide is murder against the self, than “assisted” suicide is plain murder. It is the deliberate killing of another human being. It is wrong and evil regardless of who is committing the heinous act. It is never merciful to end a human life. The ends (ending the pain and suffering) does not justify the means (killing an innocent person).

Many argue about being in pain from cancer, but as Catholics we recognize that we have our crosses to bear. When we unfortunately are given a death sentence with an incurable disease, it is actually a blessing in disguise as it gives us the time to amend our lives and prepare for our deaths. If you knew that you were going to die this Saturday at 5pm, would you not spend your last days repenting of your sins and making amends with God?

Historically, suicide has been viewed as a cowardly way to go out. Instead of facing what is ailing you head on, you “opt-out” of life. It is an insult to those who have gone through the same thing before you and endured. It is selfish in that you only think about yourself, and not those around you who may be willing to offer up prayers or help you. It leaves wounds in your family and friends’ life.

There is always hope if you pour yourself out to God. If you are feeling depressed, go to confession and confess your sins. I have found many times that depression is a healthy response to committing sins. It is a sign of guilt. Let Christ take that from you.

If you happen to know someone who has committed suicide, I am deeply sorry. I would suggest you offer up prayers for the repose of their soul, assuming that they were not in complete mortal sin. That is 1. Had full consent of the will, 2. Full knowledge that suicide was evil and 3. The act was evil (suicide is an evil act so this one will always reign true). Pray for them. Again, this post is meant as a preventative measure to help prevent more pain from suicide.

Jeff June 9, 2014 2 Comments Permalink

Mortal Sin Against the Fifth Commandment – Engagement in Unjust Lawsuits

The Fifth Commandment: “You Shall Not Kill”

stone-tablet-fifth-commandmentWillful Engagement In Unjust Lawsuits

We have all seen the news stories in which some loon sues over the slightest of infraction that makes his feelings hurt. It is so common that we even make satire out of it. It is the reason why America has so many of the world’s lawyers.

As useful as it is to engage in lawsuits when you have been wronged or had something taken from you, it has become abused. On top of that, when we engage in lawsuits that are obviously unjust, we are in a sense killing the person we are suing by taking away from their livelihood.

When I took a law class in college, we discussed generally how you would go about engaging someone in a lawsuit. If you are injured, you sue based on the legal fees, the doctor fees and whatever time you lose from not being able to work from said injury. In some instances you would also put a value on the “mental duress” sustained for the injury.

Most would agree that this would be fair. Most would also agree that you do not have to engage in a lawsuit in order to make even. Real men and women of character do not have to get the courts involved, assuming the other party is willing to work it out. Real men and women of virtue also don’t go about trying to nickle and dime the person they are suing.

hammer and gavel

Going after the person for every penny they own robs them of their ability to provide for themselves as well as their family. If you go after a corporation or company, you are robbing employees of their jobs. You are taking what isn’t yours and harming the opposing party of living.

Again, the courts have a purpose, for when you can not settle a dispute with your neighbor civilly. If you are going to bring suit or litigation, make sure that it is fair.

This also goes for you lawyers. If a prospective client brings forth a case that is obviously frivolous, it would be a mortal sin to take it.

Frivolous lawsuits are what make the courts so slow in America, leaving those cases that are just sitting on the sidelines, waiting for their court date.

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