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Anonymous Allie wrote:

Hi, guys —

I don't know if you know what TikTok is, but it is a platform where people make short videos about comedy, dancing, etc.

Anyway, I was with my friends, and they wanted to make a TikTok by dancing. The dance was a little inappropriate. It involved having your back to the camera and moving your hips side to side kind of shaking your bottom. I didn't partake in this part of the TikTok, but I was still in it, so my question is:

  • Is partaking in that TikTok a mortal sin since the dance was a little inappropriate?


  { Is partaking in this TikTok a mortal sin since the dance video was a little inappropriate? }

Eric replied:

Dear Allie,

Ultimately only God knows for sure, but we can do some discernment.

In order for a sin to be mortal, three conditions must be met:

  1. It must be a serious sin (called grave matter)
  2. we must know it is a serious sin, and
  3. we must freely consent to it.
  • One big question is, did you know what was going to happen in the video, and did you participate by consent?
    • If you weren't expecting what happened in the video, then it definitely wasn't a mortal sin.
    • If you knew what was going to happen but participated anyway, we have to evaluate:
      • whether what happened was grave matter or not, or
      • whether you knew or thought it was.
    • If you knew that the action was wrong, but willingly and freely participated in it anyway, that could qualify as a mortal sin.
    • If you suspected it was wrong but didn't really care and willingly and freely participated in it anyway, that also could qualify as a mortal sin.
    • If, however, you were ambivalent about it, or weren't sure whether it was wrong or not, and, for example, went along out of peer pressure or didn't have a chance to think it through, then it probably wasn't a mortal sin.

So, to summarize, for it to be a mortal sin, you would have had to have known beforehand what was going to happen and approved of it, and known, or at least suspected with indifference, that it was a mortal sin to do so, and you would have had to freely and willingly participated in a premeditated fashion.


Mike replied:

Dear Allie,

Separate from your question, I would stay away from any on-line media company (like ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, a Chinese company) that is connected to any Communist government.

Here is what Pope Pius XI said on the dangers of Atheistic Communism (as you will find in Communist China):


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