Confession Question of Catfishing

So I know a couple boys at my school who do this thing called cat fishing?

If you need some background, its like creating a fake profile to get information/pictures from girls/boys. Its actually really, well to me, disgusting. The action, not the person.

I was talking to one of my friends about masturbation and how it was a sin and he started talking about cat fishing!! Another friend was very shocked that cat fishing and masturbation are sins, but was too scared to go confess to the priest on campus.

Anyway, how would one go about confessing this? I guess maybe if I tell him how to phrase this, he will go to confession? Hopefully, maybe. I pray he does.

Any suggestions?

P.S.–will soon be defending the doctrine of Mary’s Perpetual Virginity!! Agh! I shouldn’t have to, but if someone talks about my mother that way :wink:

Thanks so much!


Hi Lennon,

That’s nice that you care about your friends in this way, so that you can help them. :slight_smile:

I would explain “cat fishing” as pretending to be someone you’re not on the internet, in order to meet another person. Something like that.

It is deceptive or deceitful to do something like that.

Without knowing this person, I would suspect that the REASON he does not want to bring these activities up in Confession is because he knows they will be confirmed as sinful. He already knows they are sinful, but he pretends to not know (this is called “justification,” and we are all capable of it). But, he knows that if a priest confirms that they are sinful behaviors, he is “accountable” for them.

Why else would he be “scared” to confess this? If I ate a brownie, and I thought it was OK, but someone else said it might be gluttony to eat a brownie (maybe I’m overweight), would I be scared to confess this possible sin?

Probably not. Even if I were overweight (which I am not, BTW), it would not necessarily be a sin for me to eat a brownie. It might be unwise, but “unwise” and “sinful” are not the same thing.

But, suppose they WERE the same thing. I might pretend to be ignorant of the “sinful” act of eating a brownie, yet afraid to confess it because I really like brownies (actually, I despise them), but I did not want a priest to TELL ME that eating brownies is sinful (it is probably not) because I want to go on eating brownies (yack).

But, I think your friend knows better - and his sin is far greater than eating brownies. He is actually MORE “accountable” for them if he feigns “ignorance”

Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin. [CCC 1859]

“Lying on the internet to trick people” and “masturbation” are terms anyone can understand.

Some people think that the internet is all a joke but there is much evil online.

Yes there is much evil on the internet and one of them is that the “girls” sending lewd pics to boys and asking for lewd pics in return are sometimes grown men.


The nail has been hit square on the head.

I’m sorry, I had to laugh, this example you gave has so many disclaimers.

It reminds me of the priest from the movie The Quiet Man, who wants someone to (I believe) pick up the church bell. He says something like, “If I had a wagon, which I don’t, I’d get it meself, which I shan’t.”

Those are mortal sins and the souls of your friends are in real danger.

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