Stealing/Mortal Sin/Confession


#1

When I was younger, I worked in several bars and restaurants, and also had friends who worked in bars and restaurants. I was wondering if the following types of situations should be considered mortal sins:

  1. A restaurant employee sometimes has the cook make her a free meal at the end of her shift, rather than paying for her meal, in violation of company rules.

  2. A restaurant or bar employee gives free food and/or drinks to friends who come in, in violation of company rules.

  3. Someone goes to a bar/restaurant where their friend works and the friend gives them free food/drinks. This person knows that their friend is breaking the rules by letting them eat/drink for free but happily accepts whatever they get for free and doesn't insist on paying.

  4. Someone leaves a restaurant one time without paying their bill for a very small item, such as a sandwich.

  5. A waitress allows careless customers to tip her twice, or to pay extra for their bill - she could alert them to their mistake, but decides just to pocket the extra money.

In none of these cases is the amount of free drinks/food large enough to cause serious damage to the restaurant. It is doubtful that any extra money that the waitress pocketed in example 5 was enough to put anyone in serious financial difficulty, although of course she can't be sure as she didn't know the financial situations of the customers.

I hadn't thought about any of this in a long time, but it came to my mind recently and I started wondering if these things need to be brought up in Confession. These sins go back to several years ago and are not anything that I would do now, so if they are only venial, I would not bother confessing them. (I have enough current venial sins to confess if I wish to!!)


#2

Usually theft involving small amounts is not considered grave matter. That said, one still needs to make restitution for them, either in this life or the next, which is apparently more painful.


#3

Yes, it is good to confess sin, all sin. We do this to be a healthy Christian and grow in holiness. We must hate ALL sin. Ignoring some venial sins is like not taking care of your health. You might be ok for awhile but the result bad health choices will have negative effect later.We need to grow in holiness and give our Lord the glory!


#4

#5

[quote="St_Hilary, post:4, topic:311914"]

[/quote]

It is the responsility of the employer. If he thinks it is just and right, God bless him/her.

It would not be a sin fro the person taking the free food because it is the employer doing it and would have to answer for it.

God loove you


#6

[quote="St_Hilary, post:5, topic:311914"]

It is the responsility of the employer. If he thinks it is just and right, God bless him/her.

It would not be a sin fro the person taking the free food because it is the employer doing it and would have to answer for it.

God loove you

[/quote]

I respectfully disagree. If the customer taking the stolen (not 'free') food or drink knows it is against company rules for the employee to giving it away they are complicit in the sin.


#7

For peace of mind, I would simply discuss it with a priest in the confessional, as when it doubt it is best to leave it to the priest's judgment...but in my opinion these examples would constitute venial sins rather than mortal sins. Theft can be grave matter - but not when there is little or no harm done to the "victim". Stealing $1 from an Ethiopian who only makes $1/day on which to live is certainly grave matter. Stealing $1 from a millionaire who won't even notice it would be venial.


closed #8

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