1

Since some non-Catholic baptisms are valid, and thereby remit original sin and confer sanctifying grace, there would therefore be some non-Catholics who are in a state of grace.

Cf. Do the conditions for mortal sin apply to non-catholics? and How can a non-Catholic get into state of grace as understood by the Catholic Church?

I ask this question, because it is not quite answered in either of the linked questions.

Note that this question is not not asking if a non-Catholic can commit a grave sin, but rather if such a person can fulfill the other two conditions required to lose the state of grace, namely

  1. Full advertence [attention] on the part of the intellect
  2. Full consent on the part of the will 1

1 Answer 1

2

According to the same source as the two listed conditions:

The gravity of the matter is judged from the teaching of Scripture, the definitions of councils and popes, and also from reason. Those sins are judged to be mortal which contain in themselves some grave disorder in regard to God, our neighbour, ourselves, or society.

Thus, even without knowledge of the Gospel, or of the Sacred Tradition of the Catholic Church, a validly baptized non-Catholic can commit mortal sin, from the very fact that he has a rational intellect, and a moral obligation under the Natural Law.

It is undeniable that a man cannot be invincibly ignorant of the natural law, so far as its first principles are concerned, and the inferences easily drawn therefrom. 2

Ignorance is said to be invincible when a person is unable to rid himself of it notwithstanding the employment of moral diligence, that is, such as under the circumstances is, morally speaking, possible and obligatory.

Furthermore:

Some sins admit of no lightness of matter, as for example, blasphemy, hatred of God; they are always mortal (ex toto genere suo), unless rendered venial by want of full advertence on the part of the intellect or full consent on the part of the will.

Therefore, it is possible for a validly baptized non-Catholic, without impediment to the will or intellect (e.g. if he were drugged or somehow impaired against his will) to commit a sin, the gravity of which can be known by natural reason, and without invincible ignorance of the same. He would, therefore, meet all 3 conditions for mortal sin.

5
  • It was not easy to ensure I "covered all the bases" as it were on this. Let me know if I need to increase the precision on all that is necessary for the guilt of mortal sin to be imputed. Mar 16 at 18:00
  • 2
    The follow-up question is how can this non-Catholic get back to the state of grace without access to Catholic sacrament of reconciliation? Will repentance and personal confession of sin directly to God be sufficient? Mar 16 at 18:21
  • @GratefulDisciple, only if they are capable of perfect contrition, read here: christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/60647/…
    – Grasper
    Mar 16 at 18:41
  • @Grasper Thanks. That's expected. I read your question and the answer a while back already. Mar 16 at 19:01
  • 2
    @GratefulDisciple's follow-up question should really highlight the importance of access to valid confession, and the dangerous game that Christians who do not practice valid, sacramental penance play with their souls.
    – jaredad7
    Mar 16 at 20:30

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .