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Q. I ran a red light the other day because of distracted driving. Thankfully no one was hurt, but I did receive a ticket. When I confess this sin in confession, is it a mortal sin or a venial sin?

A. It is not a sin at all. It is a legal infraction, a violation of the traffic laws that govern the use of a car. The legal penalty attached to the breaking of the law is a fine. There’s a difference between violating a law and a sin. The presence of one does not guarantee the presence of the other. Regarding the reason you were ticketed, I strongly advise you to focus on your driving when you’re behind the wheel. Turn off your cell phone and minimize all distractions.

Q. I am very anxious about our parish’s celebration of first Communion. Although I love watching the little children receive their first holy Communion, many people in line including parents and family members of the first communicants should not receive Communion. Do I have any obligation in this situation?

A. If your anxiety overwhelms your ability to enjoy this wonderful celebration of the Catholic family in prayer and worship, I suggest you choose to attend another Mass. If you do go to the first-Communion Mass, enjoy the children and don’t concern yourself with what others might be doing or not doing. You’re not their judge, and you have no obligation in this situation to do anything.

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