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September 2016 Mailbox

Q. What’s the difference between a sin of omission and a sin of commission?

A. For people with scrupulosity, I pastorally advise that your examination of conscience should focus on correctly identifying and naming sins of commission, that is, sins you actually committed. It’s an unnecessary complication to also look for sins of omission. As even more fertile ground for a scrupulous imagination, they should be avoided.

Q. Billions of people either ignore or are unaware of the sacrament of reconciliation. Will all these people go to hell? What does this say about God and the judgment everyone faces at death?

A. It says that God is merciful and that God’s forgiveness is not dependent on or limited to what we believe about sin and forgiveness. For Catholics, the sacrament of reconciliation is an obvious gift of God’s grace. For people whose spiritual practice or discipline doesn’t include the sacraments, God’s merciful love and forgiveness are expressed in ways we cannot even begin to imagine.

Published in20162016 SeptemberSA Mailbox