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The numerous cases in which the event seemed to justify the superstitious practice, and the universality of such incongruous beliefs and performances, though they may not always induce inculpable ignorance, may possibly obscure the knowledge and weaken the will to a point incompatible with mortal sin.
As a matter of fact, many superstitions of our own day have been acts of genuine piety at other times, and may be so still in the hearts of simple folk. Improper Worship The first type of improper worship, cultus indebitus , consists in introducing false or superfluous elements into the practice of true religion.
While it is easy to condemn Spiritism as superstitious and vain, the condemnation does not do away with the fact that Spiritism has become widespread in this age of enlightenment.With regard to the subjective guilt attaching to them it must be borne in mind that no sin is mortal unless committed with full knowledge of its grievous wickedness and with full deliberation and consent.Of these essential factors the first is often wanting entirely, and the second is only imperfectly present.It is to this ignorance of the true God, coupled with an inordinate veneration for human excellence and the love of artistic representations appealing to the senses, that St. While these are dispositive causes, the consummative cause, he adds, was the influence of demons who offered themselves as objects of worship to erring men, giving answers through idols and doing things which to men seemed marvellous (II-II:94:4).These causes explain the origin and spread of superstition in the pagan world.
Such false elements, be their origin culpable deceit or inculpable credulity, vitiate the virtue of religion by substituting error for truth in the service of God.