Is this a sin? Please help

So, this afternoon something reminded me of something that happened over three years ago. One of my school groups went on a trip to a Hindu Temple because our topic for the club that year was India. There were several things we got to observe and I didn’t do anything that I thought was idolatry or taking part in worship. But there was a lady who went around to our group with some candle thing and told us to like wave our hands from it to our face and stuff. Everyone in my group did it and I was young and had no clue what to do, so I just waved my hands, not thinking… Can someone tell me if this was wrong? I didn’t want to disrespect them, but I would never ever want to do something against God. I never meant to do something that might even verge on it.
Please help…

1 Like

That’s not a sin. It’s also not grave matter so as long as you’ve gone to confession since or felt remorseful which you obviously have then it’s forgiven.


Yes, I’ve been to confession many times since, but do I need to mention it to the priest in confession? I haven’t thought of it and then out of the blue something had reminded me of it.

If you didnt know it was grave matter, its not sin. be at peace.


Since you don’t even know what it means, it’s certainly not a sin.


Thank you. The lady had muttered something and kept signaling for me to do it, so I guess I just panicked. I get super anxious about things I’ve done in the past and just need reassurance sometimes and I’m always so scared of doing something wro.


She was likely offering you a blessing.


Kind of relevant to the topic. When I didn’t know where I had my bible at, I downloaded one on the phone. I mistaken the version I got as the American standard version and was reading it for a while. But I was getting confused why it kept on saying Jehovah. I was like tf and finally realised it wasnt catholic approved, so I deleted it and replaced it with a catholic approved one.

I know its different scenario, but thought I would add some sort of unknowing screw up that I didn’t know about at first and my example wouldn’t be seen as sinful such like your scenario.

1 Like

Whilst it is not a cardinal sin, there is some cause for concern. For your penance, say 3 Rosaries, 4 Our Fathers, 19 Hail Mary’s, 48 Glory Be’s and just be real careful next time you are near a Hindu Temple.


It isn’t mortally sinful, at least, without will and or without knowledge.

1 Like

No, not a sin.

I do question the appropriateness of deceiving others into practicing one’s faith, if that is indeed what this woman was doing.

1 Like


If it were a sin, because of what you stated above, it was only venial, so there is no need for confession. Your properly disposed heart and concern, along with other means of absolution (good works, Mass, Eucharist, reading scripture) have probably long been granted.

It would only be a mortal sin if:

It was grave matter AND you knew it was sinful AND you did it anyway…it doesn’t appear from what you have shared that ALL 3 of those things were met.

Be at peace.

1 Like

Did the lady explain why you and your group were to wave your hands around the candle? Was their any knowledge of their ritual and worship they described? For instance, suppose you went to a Buddhist temple. There if they asked you to offer a prayer to Buddha. You would therefore know that the Buddha is not cherished as in the life of a saint (word of warning: When I say not cherished as the life of a saint. That doesn’t mean the people who wrongly ascribed to his teachings through their worship, do not cherish him. But they would be wrongly ascribing the cherishment of him through worshiping him. For just by learning some natural virtues and teaching in his life are enough to cherish him as anyone like Plato or Socrates were cherished, but never regarded as saints.))

Okay after that long segway and tangent. Let me say that unless you knew it was a form of worship. And there was for certain knowledge, also, you knew it was Hindu practice that you did this. Then you would need to go to Confession. But if you did not know that it was a particular act of worship or ritual, then you would therefore be ignorant of the matter. And by ignorant, I mean not knowing - innocence in mind, intellect, and will still preserved - thus unintended.

Remember, Saint Peter who said to Jesus he would not deny Him. He did from the compulsion people called him out and said he knew Christ. Saint Peter denied Jesus three times. What was the catastrophic failure from Saint Peter’s statement? Well, Jesus was tried for claiming to be a King, and the Son of God. When Saint Peter said he did not know Who Jesus was, denied Jesus was the Son of God, three times.

Now, Saint Peter did so out of compulsion, and fear of torture and death. He did not outright deny Jesus because he wanted to deny Christ and His Church. Rather, he denied Christ and the Church for fear of death and torture. Which is human :wink:

In your case, you acted as any and most humans would. Under the compulsion. You saw friends doing it. For fear of looking uncomfortable. Or standing out. Or for whatever reasons combed your mind penetrating your deep thought and character, mind, and will, you simply did so. And Saint Peter did so in denying Jesus three times. Later Jesus asked Saint Peter, “Do you love me?” And Saint Peter Thrice affirmed, he did. And likewise, you haven’t left your Catholic faith and identity yet. So you didn’t join in an act of some prayer service of a Hindu temple because you were denying the Church outright. But because you felt under compulsion of circumstance just as Saint Peter did. And still by remaining in the faith, do you affirm you love Jesus still. Don’t sweat it. But always remain alert, steadfast, and Holy, and faithful too.

IMHO, I don’t think it was a sin at all since:

  1. It was a school study trip on India, which was part of the topic.
  2. You did not pray to or worship anyone but as part of the group topic , you simply followed instructions on some gestures used by Hindus in their rituals.
  3. You did not intend to worship any false god by your attending the Hindu Temple, but attended only as a way of acquainting yourself with the traditions of India.
  4. There are ecumenical services held in Catholic Churches, or in the Catholic halls nearby the church, in which Hindus pray and Catholics observe their rituals. If you attend an ecumencal service, it does not mean that you have decided to convert to Hinduism.
  5. If you think you did something wrong, why post it here on the CAF board. Why not mention it in your confession?
1 Like

Our Bibles say the same thing. Some newer ones have the language in the modern vernacular. We, Catholics, have extra books called deuterocaniacal books. These books are read by Jesus in the Temple. They are part of an older Hebrew Bible.
Serious Believers, who go to Bible Studies will have more than 1 Bible. Jack Hayford is a Pastor in Van Nyes, Calif. He printed a Bible, a modern Non-Catholic. He wrote notes of teaching in the side columns. He’s a Holy Spirit Evangelical.
The Bible is a modern King James Version.
Some of the new Bibles are retranslated w the Dead Sea Scroll’s references. They get a group of men (Scholars) to translate back to the Aramaic. The group contains members of all Faiths. They even have used the Greek and Aramaic and St. Jerome’s Vulgate.
We are blessed w to he extra books.
In Christ’s love

Lol, we visited a Hindu temple with our foreign exchange students once and watched the priests offering fruit to one of the hundreds of statues of their gods and they offered us the fruit, I turned them down, but then a devote Hindu family sitting behind us, gave my toddler a piece and she was half way through eating the banana offered to the Hindu gods!?!

I was freaking out about the situation, but then someone should me in the New Testament, that eating food offered to false gods is not a problem because the gods aren’t really gods there’s only 1 God & food is food and the stomach was made for food, but if eating meat (fruit) offered to the gods scandalizes another Christian that’s when it’s an issue and it’s better not to eat than to create a scandal…I was SO relieved!!

To tell you the truth you did commit idolatry because you took part in worship by unerring an other god than our lord which is a sin . But you were not aware :confused: due to lack of knowledge you ignorantly fell short. but its OK, there is no man on this earth this is sinless. Just ask God for forgiveness and move on.

I don’t think I would worry about it. I went back to the church after 30 plus years. I was in the confessional so long that we had to break for lunch and dinner! (Not really) But I can assure you that being blessed by a Hindu pales in comparison to some of the heinous things that I had to confess. God understands

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

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