Catholic guilt is the term used to identify the supposed excess guilt felt by Catholics and lapsed Catholics. The term Catholic Guilt is controversial as it is not clearly differentiated from the guilt felt by members of other religions or moral codes.


Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited is a thorough examination of guilt in the Catholic religion. Distressed by her romantic relationship with Charles Ryder, Julia Flyte exclaims:

Living in sin, with sin, by sin, for sin, every hour, every day, year in, year out. Waking up with sin in the morning, seeing the curtains drawn on sin, bathing it, dressing it, clipping diamonds to it, feeding it, showing it round, giving it a good time, putting it to sleep at night with a tablet of Dial if it's fretful. Always the same, like an idiot child carefully nursed, guarded from the world. 'Poor Julia,' they say, 'she can't go out. She's got to take care of her little sin. A pity it ever lived,' they say, 'but it's so strong. Children like that always are. Julia's so good to her little, mad sin.’ [1]

See also


  1. on Julia Flyte

Other reading

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