Long story

My friends called me over to meet them at a local hangout area so I wen’t over to hang out. They had a shopping cart with them that they found in a ditch (the closest grocery store is 30 mins away). I told them they should put it back where they found it. They never returned it so I put it back in the ditch where it was. Out of concern I called the police and reported the shopping cart. I told the police over the phone that my friends had it for a while and that I wished to keep them anonymous. They didn’t ask their names after that. After this I realized protecting someone who is sinning is grave matter. Do I need to contact the police in some way and tell them my friends names. (keep in mind that the cart was stolen before my friends grabbed it.)

Based on your other posts and this post, you need to seek professional help from your pastor for a serious scrupulosity problem and skewed understanding of sin.

I need it really bad but my priest is foreign and doesn’t understand that well. All these issues are eating away at me and I din’t know what to do. I don’t even sleep most nights because of my scruples.

I wouldn’t worry about it. Stealing a shopping cart isn’t a mortal sin anyway, so being an accessory to someone’s theft of it wouldn’t be a mortal sin either. Plus, your friends didn’t even steal it but just found it in a ditch. I don’t think a store would want a cart that was found miles away in a ditch.


Please see your pastor.

And no, do not call the police. You have already wasted enough of their time over such a trivial matter.

You could call your diocesan office to ask about spiritual direction, or at least just the opportunity to meet with a priest who can understand you better.

If you are barely sleeping, this will become a serious health issue as well as a spiritual burden.

I know how that feels. I used to have severe scruples that made my days full of anxiety and fear. There are sites you can go to like scrupulous anonymous that can provide some help. You can also pray to St. Alphonsus Liguori for help as he suffered from scrupulosity as well. As soon as possible, find a regular confessor to help you should the chance arise. As underacloud said, you could call the diocese.

No, you do not need to tell the police your friend’s names. I haven’t read your other posts, but if they are like this one then you are suffering terribly from scruples and need to be under the guidance of a priest who understands scruples. If your pastor is foreign and cannot understand you or you him, please seek out someone who can. You don’t need to suffer this way. God is so good and so merciful…we cannot comprehend how much He loves us. Please, please do seek out help. I’m praying for you! God bless.

Please everyone pray for me. It’s so hard for me to continue on in my daily life when my conscience is fighting itself and I never know what to do even when I think I do. Please pray that I may overcome these scruples.:frowning:

I will be praying for you. :slight_smile:

God Bless you too, I love all of you.

Call nearby parishes and ask to talk to the pastor there, or call the diocesan office and ask to speak to someone about spiritual direction.

Also look for a referral for mental health evaluation. Scrupulosity is often accompanied by other compulsive behaviors and OCD tendencies. Perhaps call Catholic Charities in your area.

I am so sorry you are suffering as such with scruples. I hope you will take the good advice that was noted here.

Please be assured of my prayers for you that you will find the help that you need.

God Bless,


When you start to become anxious, repeat to yourself , "Jesus I TRUST in YOU. Say it over and over again and then leave it in His very capable hands. Also, if you can, go spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and give Him ALL your worries. Keep in mind that when you give them to Him, you need to let go of them. Practice makes perfect. Prayers and God Bless, Memaw


Others have commented on the spiritual issues, I will comment on the practical side of this.

People walk off with cars all the time, often because they have no transportation.

The carts are expensive and the stores often send someone round to pick them up if they are aware of one being left someplace beyond the parking lot.

Your friends didn’t steal the cart.

Simply call the store and give them the location. They will appreciate it and can go pick up the cart and determine if it is still in fit condition for store use.

That is a charitable thing to do and more useful than returning the cart to a ditch

The store it was taken from has been closed for years. The authorities are picking it up.


You would not necessarily be obliged to report your friends even if they had stolen the cart themselves and even if it was full of expensive goods. It is a matter of prudence - is the good effect of my action better than the bad? Concealing another person’s sin is only wrong if you have an obligation to reveal it or if you are concealing it to help them to sin.

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.