The “Smoke” of Scandal

This is just my opinion but… why the ding-dong is smoking tobacco (pipes, cigarettes) treated as so much more of a scandal and sin than let’s say something else that, according to the Catholic faith IS a real sin and scandal?

I have smoked a few cigarettes in the past and I must say its enjoyable (aside from when the wind flicks the end of the ciggie into your eye… yeah that stinks..), except for afterwards when the taste is SO strong inside your mouth and on your teeth! Thank goodness I didn’t have to worry about kissing anyone with THAT breath!

I have also smoked Pipe Tobacco, which I find more enjoyable than cigarettes for many reasons.. the first being that it is only tobacco – not over 200 of chemicals – that I am smoking. 

Of course I never made it a habit; one thing was because of the cost, another was the bad aftertaste, another because the tobacco gave me headaches (I am really prone to headaches… FYI hehe), another because it just doesn’t really feel that feminine to me and I prefer to try to be more feminine, . Oh I could go on.

So, there you have it. I probably just scandalized you but that’s too bad eh? The fact of the matter is that SMOKING TOBACCO IS NOT A MORTAL SIN! According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, smoking tobacco is only a sin if, like being gluttonous about food and drink… it would become a source of gluttony.

As the website “ignitumtoday” wrote on this subject matter; “There is no debate that it is bad for our health, but what about our spiritual lives? Is smoking tobacco sinful? The Catechism of the Catholic Church does not forbid smoking tobacco, but it does state that Christians should avoid using it to excess. Here is the direct quote from the Catechism.

‘The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others’ safety on the road, at sea, or in the air’.
(CCC 2290.

As someone whose health is really “sensitive” and “fragile“, smoking just isn’t a good idea for me. But if you are a priest, or a man who loves a good pipe every now and then – neato! The smell is really great… but this is just my opinion.

Now, getting DRUNK on the other hand is NEVER right, and is actually a sin if done purposefully.

In Summa Theologica, St. Thomas Aquinas states, “The sin of drunkenness, as stated in the foregoing Article, consists in the immoderate use and concupiscence of wine. Now this may happen to a man in three ways. First, so that he knows not the drink to be immoderate and intoxicating: and then drunkenness may be without sin, as stated above (Article 1). Secondly, so that he perceives the drink to be immoderate, but without knowing it to be intoxicating, and then drunkenness may involve a venial sin. Thirdly, it may happen that a man is well aware that the drink is immoderate and intoxicating, and yet he would rather be drunk than abstain from drink. Such a man is a drunkard properly speaking, because morals take their species not from things that occur accidentally and beside the intention, but from that which is directly intended. On this way drunkenness is a mortal sin, because then a man willingly and knowingly deprives himself of the use of reason, whereby he performs virtuous deeds and avoids sin, and thus he sins mortally by running the risk of falling into sin. For Ambrose says (De Patriarch. [De Abraham i.]): “We learn that we should shun drunkenness, which prevents us from avoiding grievous sins. For the things we avoid when sober, we unknowingly commit through drunkenness.” Therefore drunkenness, properly speaking, is a mortal sin.”

 We must try and keep our eyes open when it comes to judging whether or not something is sinful or not really. The world today has decided that smoking tobacco is BAD – but must we also deem those who smoke as BAD people? That they are sinning? We cannot know this for sure. Pray to the Blessed Mother for her intercession to help us keep our wits about us when it comes to making clear and sound judgements; especially about things that are not even sinful. Pray that we man be able to discern HOW something is sinful, rather than deeming it evil and therefore calling out anyone who does it. If it is, indeed, in fact, a sin and a grievous one – ok than. If it is a public sin, it may be publically called out (but don’t quote me on this). But if it is a private sin, then beware that you are not causing scandal or the sin of detraction (Detraction is the unjust damaging of another’s good name by the revelation of some fault or crime of which that other is really guilty or at any rate is seriously believed to be guilty by the defamer.) !

  Learn the faith. Know your facts. Pray. Make well informed decisions.

  Be careful when relying on any media (Catholic or secular) to answer your questions fully. Always make sure what they are saying is true; and that they are saying it for the salvation of souls, not for their personal satisfaction.

Until next time, God bless!


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