The Six Sins Against The Holy Spirit

Could you name them ?

Here they are

The Six Sins Against The Holy Spirit
Presumption of God’s mercy
Impugning the known truth
Envy of other’s spiritual good
Obstinacy in sin
Final impenitence

The Douay Catechism of 1649

CHAP. XIX. The Sins against the Holy Ghost Expounded
Q. 915. HOW many are the sins against the Holy Ghost?
A. Six: despair of salvation, presumption of God’s mercy, to impugn the known truth,
envy at another’s spiritual good, obstinacy in sin, and final impenitence.
Q. 916. What is despair of salvation?
A. It is a diffidence in the mercies and power of God as also, in the merits of Jesus Christ,
as if they were not of force enough to save us. This was the sin of Cain, when he said,
“My sin is greater than I can
deserve pardon.” Gen. iv. 13. And of Judas, “when casting down the silver pieces in the
temple, he went and hanged himself.” Matt. xxvii. 4, 5.
Q. 917. What is the presumption of God’s mercy?
A. A foolish confidence of salvation, without leading a good life, or any care to keep the
commandments; such as they entertain who think they will be saved by faith only,
without good works.
Q. 918. What is it to impugn the known truth?
A. To argue obstinately against known points of faith, or to prevent the way of our Lord
by forging lies and slander, as Heretics do, when they teach the ignorant people, that
Catholics worship images as God, and give Angels and Saints the honour which is due to
God; or that the Pope for money gives us pardon to commit what sins we please; that all
which, greater falsehoods cannot be invented.
Q. 919. What is the envy to another’s spiritual good?
A. A sadness or repining at another’s growth in virtue and perfection; such as sectaries
seem to have when they scoff and are troubled at the frequent fasts, prayers, feasts,
pilgrimages, alms-deeds, vows, and religious orders of the Catholic Church, calling them
superstitious and fooleries, because they have not in their churches any such practices of
Q. 920. What is obstinacy in sin?
A. A wilful persisting in wickedness, and running on from sin to sin, after sufficient
instructions and admonition.
Q. 921. How show you the malice of this sin?
A. Out of Heb. x. 26, 27. “If we sin wilfully after having received the knowledge of the
truth, there is now left no sacrifice for sins, but a certain dreadful expectation of
Q. 922. What other proof have you?
A. Out of 2 Pet. ii. 21. “It was better for them not to know the way of justice, than after
the knowledge to turn back from the holy commandment which was given them.”
Q. 923. What is final impenitence?
A. To die without either confession or contrition for our sins, as those do of whom it is
said, “With a hard neck, and with uncircumcised hearts and ears, you always resist the
Holy Ghost.” Acts vii. 51. And in the person of whom Job speaks, saying, “Depart thou
from us, and we will not have the knowledge of thy ways.” Job xxi. 14.
Q. 924. Why is it said that those sins should never be forgiven, neither in this
world, nor in the world to come?
A. Not because there is no power in God or in the sacraments to remit them, if we confess
them, and be sorry for them, (excepting only final impenitence) of which we read, “There
is a sin to death for that I say not that any man ask.” 1 John i. 9. “If we confess our sins,
he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and cleanse us from all iniquity.”

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This list and set of explanations is really very moving to me. :slight_smile: I am most guilty of the first sin against the Holy Spirit, so I had better pray and have more hope! Thank you for bringing this up, At Trent, because I certainly wouldn’t have heard of it for a while otherwise.

If you have committed any of those sins in your life, are they "unforgivable?

I pray they are not…

Excellent ! Thanks :slight_smile:

A good Confession with a contrite heart should do it :slight_smile:

Quite welcome, most TLM Missals will have these and much more !

If one did commit any of those sins, would repenting of these sins be forgiven by the Holy Spirit. Besides, is there really such a thing as a unforgivable sin, if the person truly humbled himself and repented of those sins? Thanks!

May God Bless!


Final impenitence would seem unforgivable.

I think the main thing is to avoid sins altogether and not take reconciliation for granted. For example waking up on Sunday and thinking, “oh I don’t feel like going to mass, I’ll just go to confession later and take care of that.”

This sermon by St Alphonsus is a stern warning:
On the Number of Sins Which God Pardons No More

In short, Yes. I found this. Maybe it will help.

[31] “The blasphemy of the Spirit”… The sin here spoken of is that blasphemy, by which the Pharisees attributed the miracles of Christ, wrought by the Spirit of God, to Beelzebub the prince of devils. Now this kind of sin is usually accompanied with so much obstinacy, and such wilful opposing the Spirit of God, and the known truth, that men who are guilty of it, are seldom or never converted: and therefore are never forgiven, because they will not repent. Otherwise there is no sin, which God cannot or will not forgive to such as sincerely repent, and have recourse to the keys of the church.

Found here :

I understand the point of the article, but Saint Paul was in this very condition before Jesus came to him on the road to Demascus and he was converted to the truth. He not only showed the same traits as the Pharisees, his job was further to collect up and even kill Jews who followed Christ Jesus. So the possibility exists. Agreed that a majority of the Pharisees never made this realization, and the just punishment was given to them for their hardness of heart and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. The possibility does exist for forgiveness. It is because of Saint Paul’s great efforts, that Christianity is what it is today. Yes, the other Apostles contributed greatly also, but the majority of the accepted canon of the New Testament are from Saint Paul. He is my greatest role model of the flesh, under my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (who of course wasn’t just mere flesh, but God also). May God bless!


Could you explain more, the meaning of each one of those sins, by examples maybe.

There is no material in the NT that suggests that Saul (Paul) the Pharisee, obstinately refused to believe despite wondrous signs. But some Pharisees mentioned in the Gospels, were hard hearted and obstinate even after seeing, investigating and verifying miracles (healing at the pool, and healing of the man born blind).

This reminds me of the famous anecdote of the man and the swimming pool!

A certain average Catholic man had committed a mortal sin even before getting to his usual early morning swim. He decided that it was a grave matter, but that he should put Confession until later in the day because he simply didn’t feel like it. As was usual, he walked into the swimming chamber very early, and the janitor hadn’t yet gotten around to turning the lights on over the pool. The man got up to his ordinary high-diving platform, and just as he was about to jump off - the lights flashed on, just on time, to reveal that there was no water in the pool. The night before, they had emptied it in order to do a thorough cleaning. Our hero immediately fell to his knees and begged God’s mercy, and then went straight to Confession.

Never assume it can be put off until later, as the second sin against the Holy Spirit suggests!

No there isn’t, but there is nothing there that says he didn’t either. You are right, he just killed Jew’s who followed Christ Jesus (That seems like denying the mircles of Jesus to me, because if he knew of them and accepted these mircles, why would he accept the mission to round up and kill these Jew’s if he knew and accepted the truth of Christ?). We could argue the fact all day. Bottom line, ours is not to judge what God will and will not forgive. You don’t know the state of that person. Catholics are notorious for always drawing a sure line of who will and who won’t be forgiven. I wish we could stop doing this (do you have a inside line to God direct?). We don’t know beyond a shadow of a doubt what God will forgive and what he won’t, especially if the person who committed the sin, truly repented and changed his or her ways.

May God Bless.



Hi Bub, JM3 (post #2) shared a good commentary that explains them better than I could.

I dunno, Final impenitence is pretty much like saying "I don’t care if I’ve offended God "

As JM3 posted (the commentary)
“To die without either confession or contrition for our sins, as those do of whom it is
said, “With a hard neck, and with uncircumcised hearts and ears, you always resist the
Holy Ghost.” Acts vii. 51.”
Not our place to say for certain one in this state of mind will go to the pit, but suggesting otherwise, may be flirting with the first Sin, Presumption of God’s mercy. :shrug:

Excellent example !

Thank you for this list and thank you for the details. I just had a couple of questions as to where these are actually leading in the light of different denominations…

Despair of salvation is surely serious, but can it truly be counted as a sin for everybody? What if someone does believe, that God is indeed able to forgive, but values himself so low, that he does not see why God would forgive him? Some might see themselves as so incredibly unworthy that they cannot even begin to fathom being forgiven for their sin. Is that despair of salvation and could it be counted as sin at all? What about those who suffer from depression?

There are denominations that claim that once one is saved one is always saved. Does this attitude, though it it not known to many of the members of these denominations, constitute presumption of God’s mercy and if so, how could they be held accountable if they never heard anything different? If they are held accountable would that mean that anybody who believes Baptist teachings for example is condemned for the fact that they do believe that they cannot lose their salvation and that their good works are only for the love of God, but not important to their salvation?

What would happen to those men who were reformers in the past out of whose doubts new ecclesiastical communities arose? Did they condemn themselves? What about those who till today leave the Catholic Church in favor of another Christian group and seriously doubt some dogmata proclaimed by the Catholic Church? Are these too heaving condemnation upon themselves? What if they were convinced that they were doing the right thing and that the Church was in error? I do not believe that men like Luther or Zwingli actually believed that they were leading people astray. They did believe that all they did was for the good of the people and for the glory of God. Is it then their sin, if they themselves believed to honor the Lord?

What however if this envy leads them to follow those who they were envious of in their spiritual walk? Is it still sinful for them when their envy is spurning them on to likewise gain spiritual goods and to strive to grow in virtue and perfection? Even though they might attempt to achieve this in their own way, wouldn’t their envy lead to them growing in faith and virtue? Don’t spiritual goods in someone almost automatically lead to envy and to the desire of others to achieve goods that are alike? Isn’t that what makes people try in the first place?

What is sufficient instruction and admonition? An explanation that might be good enough for one might be insufficient for another. Even the most hardened criminal (with few exceptions) will not consider himself to be evil or wicked, even though many things he did were evil or wicked. He will always find an excuse for himself as to why he did what he did and he will not think himself to be a bad person. He might blame the circumstances or other people, but he usually won’t believe himself to be bad. Only if he does he will repent, but first he needs to see. If he is unable to see his own fault, is this then sinful?

These were just the things that came to my mind when I had a look at this thread. I do not mean to argue, but I am trying to understand.
Let’s call it an intellectual inquiry…