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Venial sin

Venial sin. In Christian moral theology, a sin which is less grave or deliberate than mortal sin and so does not deprive the soul of sanctifying grace. On the basis of John 5. 16 the fathers posited two classes of sins, but the modern distinction goes back to the scholastics, especially Thomas Aquinas. According to the theology of penance, there is no obligation to confess venial sins. For the Hindu distinction between major and minor offences, see MAHĀPĀTAKA.

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