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Question 94: Is it a mortal sin for men and women who are dating to sleep in the same bed from time to time and if no sexual relations occur?  Please explain.


Answer: A mortal sin is the deliberate, conscious and free transgression of a moral law, involving very serious matter, and resulting in the loss of grace and separation from God. Mortal sin is so grave that its punishment is eternal damnation.

Three conditions must be present for the commission of a mortal sin:

  1. the matter must be grave, for example, murder, fornication, adultery, blasphemy, etc.);
  2. there must be sufficient reflecting on the evil which one is contemplating; and
  3. there must be full consent of the will.

    Various factors can limit these conditions, for example, lack of maturity, force of habit, etc. However, one must never presume to be incapable of such a deadly sin.

    Mortal sins are forgiven by God through the sinnerís penitence and the sacramental absolution of a priest.

By sleeping together in the same bed, you are placing your souls in serious jeopardy. A proximate occasion of sin is one in which the inducement to sin is so strong that sin will almost certainly be committed. The person who voluntarily enters or remains in a proximate occasion of mortal sin thereby commits a serious internal sin.

    To be free from sin, a person who is in a proximate occasion of mortal sin, must do everything possible to remove himself from the situation. Nothing can ever justify the commission of a mortal sin. A person proves his sincerity when he takes the means to destroy the power for sin rooted in the occasion. He is guilty in the same proportion that he neglects to take these means. The general means that he can use to cope with an occasion of sin are prayer, meditation, frequent reception of the Sacraments, and mortification. More specifically, you must not place your soul in danger by placing yourself in a situation where the commission of a mortal sin is likely or even possible.

    Your behaviors in this matter demonstrates a lack of respect for one another and a disregard for the will of God. It is only a matter of time before you cross the line and commit the mortal sin of fornication.

    For fornication, it is not necessary that both parties should experience complete pleasure of orgasm resulting from genital to genital intercourse. Sexual pleasure of any amount has a legitimate place only in the married state. No amount of it has any meaning outside of this state, so that to take any of it out on marriage completely defeats its purpose and is seriously wrong. The serious prohibition of the Sixth Commandment is against illicit pleasure as such. Sexual intercourse must only occur in the context of a lawful marriage.

    All sin is a forbidden choice, and sins of impurity are no exception. When one chooses to stir up illicit pleasure, he is guilty the moment he makes his choice.



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