Copyright Laws and Restitution


How do I restitute the thousands of illegal files (music, games, movies…) I have downloaded from the internet across the years? Should I buy every disk, every game, every movie I’ve ever downloaded?


You should ask a priest. That seems excessive to me.

If you have deleted all the items, confessed, and the priest did not call for restitution, move on.


Has a priest all this authority?


Then listen to the priest. Once you confess you are only obligated to what he prescribes.

If you are/have been told that nothing needs to be done, than listen.


Absolutely. Jesus gave Peter the power to bind and loose sin. This is handed down to individual priests.


And if restitution is due (in another case), but he doesn’t prescribe restitution?


If you are legally responsible for restitution, you must follow the law. If you confess your sins and the priest does not give you restitution then you are not obligated to do so. No if’s, ands or butts. The priest is the final moral authority on the matter.


And if a priest says to me not to confess till X day, and, before that day, I commit a mortal sin?(I know I am off topic, but you got me intrigued.)


A priest cannot command you to not confess. The only caveat is that a priest who believes that a penitent is not truly sorry can refuse to offer forgiveness…it is very, very rare.


Well, it happened that a priest ordered me not to confess till Christmas.

I want to know where it is written, that the priest is the final moral authority on the matter of restitution. I ask of you, tell me.


I’m guessing he did so under some sort of capacity of spiritual advisor. Many priests limit confessions for those who they believe are suffering scruples, for their own mental health.

The priest, namely, YOUR confessor, is the final moral authority. If you go to 10 priests who all say you don’t need restitution and then go to one who sais you do just to get the answer you want, that is abusing the sacrament.


I have another question for you. This one is about another matter. If I, ashamed of sins, decide not to go to the priest of my town (I’ve never confessed to him, cause I am new to catolicism), and instead go to the priest of another town, am I abusing the sacrament?


If you have a confessor, and he’s told you not to confess there must be a reason. You should obey his prescription. If you fall into new mortal sin before then, call him at the office.

If you are not under a prohibition to not go to confession, you can seek an unknown priest.

You mention you are new to Catholicism. Are you in RCIA? If you have been told that you are to make your first confession at Christmas, it would be incredibly wrong to disobey. Confession is for Catholics only…and it is up to your RCIA directors, and the priest, to determine when this should occur.


Confess it and move on. Don’t download in the future if you get overwhelmed with guilt. You clicked links on a screen that put some files on your computer - you didn’t commit mass genocide.


No, you got it all wrong. I don’t have a confessor. I confessed three times with a priest from another town (I was in another town). I was baptized, when I was but a baby, in the Luteran Church; it was a valid baptism for the Catholic Church, the priest said, so I went about confessing my sins. Not for fun, of course; I knew in my heart that the Church of Christ is the Catholic Church.


If you have not made your sacraments, then you need RCIA. You sound very confused. If you can go back to that priest I’d recommend it. Was he the one who forbade you from confessing until Christmas?

While you have a “legal” right to Confess, you really need to be taught how the sacrament—and all the other parts of the Church–work.

From what you’ve stated here it seems you are looking for something when there’s not anything.


Gabriel, it sounds as if you have scrupulosity issues. If you are in RCIA to convert to Catholicism, you need to follow the instructions of your pastor and RCIA director. You may need to see a counselor about anxiety issues. Past downloading of copyrighted material is not the issue here. Anxiety and scrupulosity is a medical issue, not a moral issue.


“Looking for something when there is nothing”, I didn’t get it.
I know I need basic catholic schooling. I don’t have access to the priest who confessed me, he lives in another town.



You can also buy a few good books to help

All of these are AMAZING books. You may be able to find them cheaper on ebay or Amazon, but if you can support the Sisters, than that is very good. Honestly, supporting a good source rather than finding the cheapest may be a good way to show God that you are sorry for your previous theft.


I just need to know one more thing. If I go to one priest, because I am ashamed to confess to another, am I abusing the sacrament?

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