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August 2023 Mailbox

Q. I fear I committed a serious sin because I broke the eucharistic fast. After I received holy Communion, I discovered food particles from breakfast in my mouth. Should I confess this?

A. Absolutely not. You have not committed a sin. The eucharistic fast is a spiritual discipline, not to be easily discarded, but it can be discarded for a variety of reasons. You cannot discard something that is a mortal sin. If it is a mortal sin, it is a mortal sin. Period. Your example is not even related to sin. It is related to hypersensitivity and the fear of sin.
It is not a sin.

Q. I recently read, in a highly regarded Catholic publication, that it is a mortal sin to attend an invalid marriage ceremony, and there are no exceptions to this rule and standard. No matter what anyone might say, there are no exceptions.

A. I believe you are using the term “Catholic publication” in a very generous manner. There is no such prohibition in Catholic discipline and practice that would support this position. It reflects a rigidity for the sake of making a dubious theological point. I would call to mind what Jesus often said to the scribes and Pharisees about burdens and rules.

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