Is Offering Mass for Someone a Valid Form of Reparation?

Recently, I’ve begun contemplating the ways I’ve wronged people throughout my life and how I can make restitution. It was a black and white matter until I recalled that, as a small child, I’d stolen an X-rated film from my father and later hid it somewhere on our property (I honestly can’t recall why… I think I thought of it as my secret treasure or something :shrug:).

The problem I face now is that I’m not sure how to go about making up for this. If I call my father and tell him what I did and where the film is hidden (if it’s still there after all this time), wouldn’t I be committing the sin of scandal by exposing him to pornography?

This brings me to my main question: if I shouldn’t return the object, would asking a priest to offer up mass for my father make up for the theft? I heard mass for the living is very spiritually valuable for the person it’s said for, so I figure the spiritual value of mass would make up for the monetary value of the film. Or should I just send an envelope full of cash and literally make up for the monetary value?

I think we should only make amends when doing so will not harm ourselves or others. Bringing this up with your dad now may harm him or your relationship, so I would just confess that in Confession and let the priest give you a suitable penance.

Restitution is different from amends, I think you could either get the money to your dad in whichever way is possible, you would know how best to do that. Alternatively, you could put the money in the poor box at church or donate it somehow to a worthy cause.

I think offering a mass, especially perhaps for pornography workers/victims might be good. Good luck.

Thanks, you’ve been a big help!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.