You can't teach one thing in a catechism and a totally different thing by the way you pray and worship. How a person behaves necessarily outweighs what one says.
I do believe I said quite explicitly that one can definitely find Roman Catholics who ascribe to an overly legalistic view of God's justice. But this arises from poor catechesis and improper understanding of the rites and prayers of the Latin Church.
Whatever the catechism says it's what most Roman Catholics believe that really matters and their belief is shaped by the life and worship of the Church. How can you say Roman Catholics don't have an overly legalistic view of God when they teach that a person has to provide "satisfaction" in Purgatory for uncofessed venial sins? The very act of praying or doing penance to lessen a persons temporal punishment testifies to your legalistic view of God.
Once again, I see this a caricature of my lived experience as a Catholic of both the Latin church where I raised in a traditional manner and taught by very traditional priests and in the Ruthenian church where I have walked for the past eight years. And, once again, I freely admit that there are Catholics who espouse the legalistic view of God you describe, but they do not speak for the entire Church. Much like how St. Gregory's teachings on apokatastasis are not indicative of what the Orthodox Church teaches, the views of individual Catholics are not indicative of what the Catholic Church teaches. For that, one must open up the Catechism and read. In there we find the proper interpretation of the rites of that particular Church as given to Catholics from the Magisterium.
When you place God under the necessity of justice by not allowing Him to grant mercy to unbaptized infants you show us how you view God.
Apparently you never read the memo that was recently released by the Vatican
, which states, in part, emphasis mine:Our conclusion is that the many factors that we have considered above give serious theological and liturgical grounds for hope that unbaptized infants who die will be saved and enjoy the beatific vision.
We emphasize that these are reasons for prayerful hope, rather than grounds for sure knowledge. There is much that simply has not been revealed to us. We live by faith and hope in the God of mercy and love who has been revealed to us in Christ, and the Spirit moves us to pray in constant thankfulness and joy.
What has been revealed to us is that the ordinary way of salvation is by the sacrament of baptism. None of the above considerations should be taken as qualifying the necessity of baptism or justifying delay in administering the sacrament. Rather, as we want to reaffirm in conclusion, they provide strong grounds for hope that God will save infants when we have not been able to do for them what we would have wished to do, namely, to baptize them into the faith and life of the Church.
How different is this from the Orthodox view espoused here and elsewhere that we simply do not know what happens to the unbaptised infant but trust in the mercy of God?
When you say it's a mortal sin to eat 59 minutes before Communion instead of 60 and that to die without confessing that means you will burn in Hell for all eternity you show us how you view the wrath of God.
If you're going to use Latin Catholic terminology regarding sin, understand what it means. "Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent." (CCC 1857).
In addtion, the Catechism has this to say regarding "mortal sin", again, emphasis mine:
1858 Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: "Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother." The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft. One must also take into account who is wronged: violence against parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger.
1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God's law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.
1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.
1861 Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God's forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ's kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.
In your example, for someone who eats 59 minutes before Communion to commit a mortal sin, one must, in effect, be telling God, in very deliberate and willful terms, that he knows better than Him and will eat that sandwich or whatever, consequences bedamned. One must say, "You know, I know that the Church says I shouldn't eat and, well, I don't have to but I feel like. I'm going to succumb to my passions and chow down. I know what I am doing is very wrong and I know that I'm separating myself from God by not preparing to receive Him into my body per the instructions of my Church, but I don't care. I want to eat now."
Are you telling me that an Orthodox Christian who did this would be told by his priest that he was placing his immortal soul in great danger were he to do the same thing, eating an Egg McMuffin on the way to Sunday DL and then receiving Communion that very day? I would be astonished if his priest merely said, "It's okay. Just trust in God's mercy and go on your way. Your soul is not in any danger and you have nothing to confess. See you next week."
A mortal sin, by definition, is a willful separation from God, and, according to Dr. Kalomiros, those who willfully separate themselves from God will feel the fire of His love as what we might call the painful fires of Hell.
To close, personally I don't make much distinction between mortal and venial sin in the way I was taught in Catholic elementary school. I've come to see sin as a "missing of the mark" as taught in Orthodox thought, but I also understand the distinction my Latin Catholic brethren make and let them make it. Those who take them seriously will do the right thing. Those who use the distinctions to avoid confession would not benefit from understanding the meaning of harmatia
because they are overemphasizing the categories to satisfy their own passions.
I pray I never fall into that trap myself.