Absolution for Illegal Immigration a sin?


M6y question is two fold:

  1. Is it ever permissible to commit sin?
  2. a) If illegal immigrants are breaking the laws of the USA, is that not a sin?
    b) If so, what is said to them by their Priest in confession?
    c) Can a Priest give them Absolution, while they remain in the US or do they have to leave the country?


That’s kind of a word game. If something is “permissible,” it’s not a sin.

As to whether or not illegal immigrants are sinning if they break the laws of the United States, we cannot know the state of their souls. Not all of them. Why did they enter the US? How did they enter the US? If someone fears that their family may starve, or be killed or raped or even tempted by gangs, is that person sinning by trying to remove his or children from that situation? Did he or she have a better choice?

We cannot know what is said to such a person in the confessional. And yes, a priest can give such a person absolution no matter where they are.


No, it’s never permissible to sin.

“Sin” is not the spiritual equivalent to “illegal”. Sin means you have betrayed God in some way.

People migrate without documentation for a variety of reasons. It isn’t unusual to escape central America because a person fears for their life or for the lives of their children, as these areas have been known to be excessively dangerous for quite some time.

A person should never violate the civil authorities since we are suppose to obey them, but this has always been muted when having to obey a higher law (hence why the early Church accepted martyrdom instead of obeying the state and sacrificing to pagan deities and such).

So whether a person sins by illegally crossing into Mexico and the US: this is really a difficult question, but no, not necessarily.


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