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Q.  I feel silly asking this question, but I am bothered by it. Can venial sins accumulate to the point where they can become a mortal sin? If that is the case, is there a number, a cutoff point that I should be aware of? Is it a different number depending of the type of sin?

A.  Venial sins do not accumulate and then become a mortal sin. Mortal sins are in a completely different category, and the requirements for mortal sin are different than the requirements generally applied to venial sins. There is no need to be concerned with counting venial sins in order to avoid the point where they become something else.


Q.  My neighbors go to the same church I attend. They regularly receive holy Communion, so I assume they are practicing Catholics. They also cut their lawn on Sundays and therefore dishonor the Sabbath obligation. Should I tell them? Perhaps they were never taught what was required.

A.  Absolutely not. The consistent teaching of the directors of the SA bulletin from the beginning has been to counsel our readers never to inflict their sense of what is right and wrong on another person. Take care of your own business and not the business of others. And no, this is not a sin of either omission or commission, if you were inclined to go in that direction. It is good, sound, orthodox Catholic pastoral advice and practice for the scrupulous.

Published inSA Mailbox