The distinction between the sinfulness of an act and one’s culpability therefor

… doesn’t mean that an act for which you’re not culpable is not a sin.

“[I]f a man is ignorant of the fact that something is wrong, and acts in ignorance, he incurs no guilt, provided natural reason was not enough to show him that it was wrong. But while ignorance may excuse the man, it does not excuse the act, which is wrong in itself. If I permitted the act simply because the man is ignorant that it is wrong, then I would incur guilt, because I do know it to be wrong. It is really that painfully simple.”

Quote from A Canticle for Liebowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr. (italics added), quoted in “Abbot Zerchi and the Dictatorship of Relativism“, by Matthew J. Franck, FirstThings.com (in the context of an article concerning the HHS mandate).

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3 thoughts on “The distinction between the sinfulness of an act and one’s culpability therefor

  1. Yes, very good. Much of modern life seems to be aimed at concealing the reality of sin from people so they don’t have the potential burden of culpability. But the sin still remains.

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  2. “Much of modern life seems to be aimed at concealing the reality of sin from people so they don’t have the potential burden of culpability.”

    Alas, even in the Church! (Which is why I feel the need to write about things like this.)

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  3. Every post with a quote from that book deserves a like. I’m not much for science fiction, mostly because I have a terrible imagination that cannot suspend reality nearly long enough for me to enjoy the plot points, but for some reason it got me. It hit my heart in all the right places.

    Like

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