For example, quite a few Americans (young and old) are guilty of violating copyright infringement laws, especially when it comes to music and lyrics on the internet. If they confess this sin (theft), should they also turn themselves in to proper governement channels and the companies or artists involved? Or does penence wipe out the need for reconciliation with the state, regardless of the civil/federal infraction?
Does canon law address this?
…I’ve heard several popular priests talk about their pre-conversion lives and how it was “a miracle they didn’t go to jail” or that they “probably should have”. This suggests offenses against the law (however venial or grave) and gets me wondering about atonement with the State.
I know that when I was a teenager, I did things or was in possession of things that were illegal (my pre-Jesus days were pretty crazy). Most teenagers have tried alcohol before they were 21, for instance. Quite a few have experimented with drugs, as well. Some have shop-lifted an item or two. And almost all of them have stolen a small fortune’s worth of music or software from file sharing.
The question arises: is confession really enough with matters of the State? How are we to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect? Do we take a “…uh, I’ll plead guilty if charges are pressed, but I’m not gonna turn myself in” kind of approach?
It leads me to another similar question: say you confess a “white lie” to the priest. Should you afterwards tell that girl that yes, she does look fat in that dress? Should you approach your boss and say “actually, yesterday when I said the job was done I was actually five minutes from completing it, so I techinically lied; sorry.” The point being, how much do we make ammends with those who have been directly or indirectly offended by our actions after confession?