The Sin Of Omission: A Roman Catholic Teaching

I posted a blog about the “Sin of omission” recently but it was a mistake; I made one again. Although what I assumed (my previous employer used to say that assumption is the mother of all …. ups {he didn’t use the word “mess”}) was supported by James 4:17 it will be made clear (I will post more on this in a while) that it is Roman Catholic in nature.

In Catholic teaching an omission is a failure to do something one can and ought to do. If this happens deliberately and freely, it is considered a sin.
The degree of guilt incurred by an omission is measured, like that attaching to sins of commission, by the dignity of the virtue and the magnitude of the precept to which the omission is opposed, as well as the amount of deliberation.
A person may be guilty of a sin of omission if he fails to do something which he is able to do and which he ought to do because he has put himself into a state or situation whereby he is unable to complete the action. For example, if a person chooses to become inebriated and is therefore unable to perform a necessary task, that person is responsible for that failure, even though that person is physically unable to perform the task because he or she knowingly put themselves into a state (drunkenness) where accomplishing the task was impossible.[1]
Paul the Apostle refers to this sin directly when he states “For the good that I would I do not: …” (Romans 7:19).



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