Primum Primi

What is Primum Primi? Did you have a Primum Primi moment this week?

It’s been 3 weeks since I last heard this Latin phrase but it still rings in the back of my head. Like an attached colony of lice. Hahaha. Or a slipper that accidentally got stepped on an adhesive rat trap. I tried to get Google’s help as I write this, but my gosh, all I got was a bunch of Latin phrases. It’s that uncommon in vocabulary. But super common in real life. So once and for all, let’s post about Primum Primi to put all my noisy neural waves to rest.

I think we were discussing Confession during that particular doctrine class. And then there was the question and answer portion after the class. Somebody asked about sudden outbursts, if they are considered sin or not.

If I may be allowed to define it in my own words, it’s the outburst that comes from one’s primal instinct. Primum primi is something that one must not confess. It’s not sin; it can be an outburst that has an unpleasant ring to it, but it’s not a sin.

Let’s set a concrete example:
A child falls off the jeepney. You scream some unpleasant words. “Ay kamote!” or something else. (Can’t tell other R-13 phrases because I have 10-year-old readers.)

So that’s not sin, as per Catholic doctrine teaching. Because according to our teacher, sin only happens when there is a deliberate motive to do something. In the case of saying “Ay ***** mo”, there was no intention to harm. There was just an initial reaction that caused you to react severely over a shocking thing.

I wish our teacher Nini shared some more; primum primi just kept on going in my head for three weeks. To think she had other interesting topics like Matrimony, Chastity and the real deal on RH bill (and why the Catholic Church does not like some of its parts).

How interesting to know that there is a better term for “sudden outbursts” in Catholic doctrine.