Friday, 20 April 2012

"What Happened to Sin" - Fr Sean Fagan

This is the chapter on sexuality in the book the Holy Office wanted bought up! I have had the whole book on my computer for some time, and now have permission to release this chapter to WAC with the info that What Happened to Sin is available from Amazon or Abe books!

Chapter 5


One of the reasons for confusion about the notion of sin today is our preoccupation with sexuality. The saddest commentary on the Church’s moral teaching is that when a person is described as immoral, most people think of sexual sin. The individual may be selfish, greedy, spiteful, cruel, jealous, unjust, brutal, violent, unscrupulous, arrogant, but such a person will not be thought immoral unless he or she is involved in sexual sin. Not only did traditional moral teaching seem to pay more attention to the sixth and ninth commandments than to the others, but also its understanding of sex was predominantly negative. There seemed little in the sexual sphere that was not sinful. Any positive treatment of the subject spiritualised it to the extent of almost losing contact with the world of reality. The bulk of the teaching was concerned with the danger of sex, and the textbooks were even hesitant about what was ‘permitted’ to engaged couples and married people. It is not sufficiently realised how much of this attitude is owed to non-Christian influences in the early centuries and failure to benefit from the insights and discoveries of the human sciences. Sin is as much a reality in the sexual area as in any other, but if we are to get a balanced understanding of it we need to look critically at the factors that influenced our tradition and see how we can make the Christian view of sex meaningful in today’s world.


  1. it's very difficult to obtain the book. Have tried many sources without success - they can't get supplies from publisher. Could I get a copy of your computer file from which Chapter 5 was drawn? I would be willing to donate the price.
    Hope yo can reply to this.

    1. Sorry to hear that, Peter.

      Looking at Amazon, £50 for a paperback is a bit much unless one is really desperate.

      I will ask Elizabeth, who sent the extract where copies may be obtained.

  2. 5 June 2012 I am in the same position as Peter in trying to obtain a copy of this book. Having read a review and the chapter 5 published here; I would very much echo Peter's request for a copy of Elizabeth's computer file copy if this is possible [or information as to where I might purchase a copy at a reasonable cost] and I would be prepared to donate the price of the book

  3. This book has been 'banned' by the Vatican which is why you nor anyone else can obtain new copy. Also very difficult to obtain used/secondhand.


Your comment is welcome.