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Catholics/Judgment of Internal Soul vs. External Acts


Is it a sin to ask God to punish people who are in continuous sin.

By that I mean people who don't care that they sin, that enjoy stealing etc.

The Scriptures teach that only God can judge the soul.  After all, we don't really know what anyone else is thinking, how ignorant he really is, whether the ignorance is his own fault, whether he is being compelled in some way, etc.  Therefore, we are not allowed to judge the internal soul.

That is not to say, however, that we cannot condemn external sin.  We can certainly judge objective acts:  murder, stealing, etc.  Such acts can also be punished by the Church or the State through courts and other just means.

People frequently confuse the internal and the external.  For example, Christ's famous "Judge not lest ye be judged" teaching refers not to external acts, but to the internal soul.  Christ had no objection to Roman justice as such, as expressed in, among other places, his famous "Render to Caesar" teaching.  


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Fr. Michael


A traditional Catholic priest, who provides forthright answers to questions FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF TRADITIONAL CATHOLICISM (not the New Order) on topics pertaining to TRADITIONAL Roman Catholicism, including theology, the Bible, Church history, the Latin language, liturgy (especially the Traditional Latin Mass), and music (especially Gregorian chant), and current events in the Catholic Church.

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