Theft, restitution, and moral impossibility


In the book, This is the Faith, by Canon Ripley, the author says that, “If it is…morally impossible for us to make restitution (for theft), the obligation ceases to bind us.”

What is moral impossibility in this case?

My guess would be instances in which we could make restitution only by neglecting or abandoning other duties, such as providing for one’s family.

I used to fare dodge on trains before I was Catholic. This was before the railways were privatised. In this case I can’t make restitution. I have given to charity instead of the now defunct railway company.

Belongs in moral theology. Post appropriately.


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