POLL: Need advice. How should I make restitution?


#1

Dear everyone,

I have been reading the Catechism and realized that I need to make restitution against sins committed against the “thou shall not steal” commandment.

When I was young I shoplifted from stores, and until not very long ago I downloaded music, movies, and software without paying for it.

The Catechism says that restitution should be made to the owner of stolen goods. Practically this would be very hard to do, and I also don’t have a whole lot of money and need to save for college.

An Apologist suggested that I make restitution by volunteering, serving, giving the poor.

This is a good idea but I am not sure because it does not seem to do justice to the original owner. What do you think?


#2

I think restitution should involve the victim. But if it is a huge undertaking or impossible I think giving to the poor would suffice. But in the end its what your confessor says that matters.


#3

I agree that if possible the person you stole from should recieve some payback, however as already noted, that is not always possible. I believe serving the poor is always very meritorious and if you do so with the intention to make restitution for past sins restitution could be made.


#4

where it is not too feesible to replace value (like the downloaded music)… you can give alms or do charitable works… work in soup kitchen, help your elderly… lots of ways… i’m proud of you for your concern… :thumbsup:

first steps of the road to Sainthood…
http://www.orthodox-iona.co.uk/Saint%20Columba.jpg


#5

[quote=Hermione]Dear everyone,

I have been reading the Catechism and realized that I need to make restitution against sins committed against the “thou shall not steal” commandment.

When I was young I shoplifted from stores, and until not very long ago I downloaded music, movies, and software without paying for it.

The Catechism says that restitution should be made to the owner of stolen goods. Practically this would be very hard to do, and I also don’t have a whole lot of money and need to save for college.

An Apologist suggested that I make restitution by volunteering, serving, giving the poor.

This is a good idea but I am not sure because it does not seem to do justice to the original owner. What do you think?
[/quote]

I did the same thing. I have no qualms with it though, since at the time I didn’t consider it stealing. Really, I considered it a form of payback since for the years the music industry stole from everyone through price-gouging on CDs, selling them for several thousand percent more than it cost them to make them. What they did would be like someone selling paperclips for $3 or $4 each. I know that is a rationalization and is on shaky moral ground. Nevertheless, I don’t feel bad for the thieves when they are stolen from. Now, I just don’t buy music, and I never will either. Especially since you don’t know how much of your money goes directly to their causes such as Greenpeace, Planned Parenthood, Act-Up, NARAL or other shady organizations.


#6

[quote=sweetchuck]I did the same thing. I have no qualms with it though, since at the time I didn’t consider it stealing. Really, I considered it a form of payback since for the years the music industry stole from everyone through price-gouging on CDs, selling them for several thousand percent more than it cost them to make them. What they did would be like someone selling paperclips for $3 or $4 each. I know that is a rationalization and is on shaky moral ground. Nevertheless, I don’t feel bad for the thieves when they are stolen from. Now, I just don’t buy music, and I never will either. Especially since you don’t know how much of your money goes directly to their causes such as Greenpeace, Planned Parenthood, Act-Up, NARAL or other shady organizations.
[/quote]

If groups support such activities I would hold that you not support the groups at all, by not buying or listening to their music.
The whole thing about burning music is not what it does to the artist, but what it does to the janitor who works at the studio, or the maintenance guy, the so called 'little people.'
If sales go down because people are burning music they will lose their jobs, not the artists or their causes.
In reference to the main question I think that the apologist you spoke to is right on. Help the poor be
because when you help one group of people all people are helped. We are the BODY of CHRIST. When you help one you help all.
Kudos for realizing that restitution needs made.
Sincerely,
Benjamen J WRen


#7

[quote=benw98]If groups support such activities I would hold that you not support the groups at all, by not buying or listening to their music.
[/quote]

That’s just as much of a rationalization as my saying my downloading of music was justified because it is stealing back what was stolen from me.

There’s a lot of Dave Matthews or R.E.M. fans out there who are pro-life, but don’t want to know that they stump for their pro-choice causes. What about the Vote for Change concerts? You might as well write John Kerry a check. People want to be able to listen to music they like and think that their hands are clean because they don’t give directly to Planned Parenthood.

If you go out and buy used CDs, that’s one thing. But if you buy them new, you positively reinforce their political beliefs and allow them to further support unjust causes. I’m selling all my R.E.M. stuff on EBay right now for this reason.


#8

Actually, now that I re-read your quote, I think I may have misinterpreted what you were saying. I thought you were saying it’s OK to support groups that support PPFA. I think I misunderstood. Sorry.


#9

[quote=sweetchuck]Actually, now that I re-read your quote, I think I may have misinterpreted what you were saying. I thought you were saying it’s OK to support groups that support PPFA. I think I misunderstood. Sorry.
[/quote]

Nope far from it.
no problem though
BEn


#10

The other thing that you could do is to buy some good yet popular cds for some kids on a Jesse tree for the holidays.

Just another thought that serves the poor,
Ben


#11

I had this problem with a few unsavory business decisions I allowed to happen when I was running my company. My confessor told me that if it wouldnt create an unhealthy evironment to approach the person that was wronged, then do so and pay them back when finances allow. If that situation isnt feesible, then simply donate the amount you owe to a Catholic Charity. In my instance, BOTH scenarios will be used by me for two differnt parties when I am financially able. One I will approach and pay back, the other I will either mail a money order in they are still in business or simply make a donation for the amount I owe.


#12

[quote=Jermosh]I think restitution should involve the victim. But if it is a huge undertaking or impossible I think giving to the poor would suffice. But in the end its what your confessor says that matters.
[/quote]

Should the victim have to know exactly the identity of the one making the restitution, including all the exact details as to how he or she was victimized?

Thank already and God bless.


#13

I think of “restitution” as restoring what was stolen. That may or may not be a good idea, strategically. Sometimes attempts at fixing damage can make it worse.

Giving to the poor, however, is good for YOUR soul, even though it doesn’t materially help the person originally transgressed. It performs restitution and healing on your soul to do acts of mercy, even if it does not restore the material or sentimental loss to the original victim.

Alan


#14

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