Halp! Did I sin??

I’ve asked an apologist, but that frequently takes days to get a response, if I get one. So here goes.

I’ve had a picture of “The Prince of Peace” by Akiane, and another of the BVM, by Basil Lynch in my picture file because I like to put them on my desktop. It occurred to me today that these are not in the public domain, they are copyrighted, and I may be guilty of theft! I have deleted them, and feel like an idiot. Why it never occurred to me before is beyond me. No harm was ever intended. While I will confess it at my next confession, if I go to Mass tomorrow, am I OK to receive communion, or have I committed a mortal sin?

You did not steal the image. The image is available for your personal use.

Dude… dude man…dude… like bro, you good bro.

Food for thought:

If I buy an apple and plant its seed, do I owe the fruits of the tree to he I bought the apple from?


To be a mortal sin you must be consciously aware that it is a mortal sin, otherwise its venial.

Well, I hope I am good to go. I guess I will buy a set of the note cards that are available, and look at those!

When you rush into confession for this, you might want to ask Father about the possibility that you are being scrupulous and ask for his guidance.

And no, there was absolutely no sin on your part, for goodness sake!

The key phrase is “It occurred to me…” Then you proceeded to delete them after full reflection. I don’t see a problem with that even if it were a copyright infringement, which in this case, is rather debatable at best.

No sin at all. You did not steal it. You did not sell it. You did not claim that you painted it.

If this is causing you a great deal of distress, it really would appear that you suffer from scruples.

The best thing in that case, IMHO, is to stop looking for answers online, and to get real, face-to-face help from a good priest.

Tell him that you have trouble distinguishing mortal and venial sins, and that sometimes you don’t know if what you’ve done is even sinful, but that you experience fear and anxiety.

He will help you. All we can do is offer opinions, but we cannot bind you to obedience. Father can — and my understanding is that scruples must be overcome by consistently presenting your fears to the priest, who binds you to his decision. Eventually, your conscience will be better formed and you will practice trust. But again, we cannot bind you to obedience, which seems to be a crucial step in all of this.

Fearing with regard to the pictures is just a symptom of a deeper, spiritual cause.

Scruples no doubt. But I still felt guilty, and as I really like the Akiane painting, I went online at 3 AM this morning (because I wasn’t getting much sleep), and was able to buy a download of the painting! So my good Lord is back on my desktop legitimately. Thank you for your thoughts, may He bless us all.


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