Unsure of what I can or should do. Advice is welcome

My brother was raised Catholic with the rest of my family, but he has never really committed himself to it. He has been in and out of a lot of trouble for his whole life. He is a sweet guy who would usually give the shirt off his back to you if you needed it, but he has a tendency get caught in the moment of things and make poor decisions. I have always loved him for who he is, faults and all.

He has recently begun making an effort to take himself and his son to Mass once a month. Its a start. I recently (and quite unintentionally) learned from my oldest brother that the brother I am writing about forced his wife to get an abortion about two years ago. The child was not his. He has not spoken to me about this, because he fears I would cut ties with him and be unable to forgive him. This is not the case. My heart breaks for him. What a horrible thing he has done! And it is eating at him. He regrets what he has done.

My question is in regards to his forming desire to return to our Faith. The catechism states that if one willfully procures, participates in or aids an abortion, they are excommunicated. I am deeply concerned for him, but feel it is improper to try and give him advice when I am not even supposed to know about the abortion. I am also wondering what steps would be necessary and proper for him to return to good standing with the Church.

All advice is welcome. And if you have a moment, please pray for my brother, and please pray for the soul of that sweet, innocent unborn baby who suffered such a grave injustice.

Simply encourage him to go to the sacrament of reconciliation since he has begun to return to the faith.

The priest will take care of the rest.

As 1ke said, leave it to him and his priest. It’s improper to give him unsolicited advice, but if he comes to you, then always be charitable. Never offer him a judgement of him, even if you feel the catechism says one thing or another. Pray that if you are ever put in a position to guide him, that you always guide him to Jesus.

And this is my sincerest hope! If I can do anything, I want it to be only what leads to Jesus. I fear that if he ever even heard a whisper of what the catechism teaches regarding this, he would take it to mean he is no longer welcome in the Church and would leave once and for all. I shudder to imagine it.

I recall a conversation my brother and I had in the past about reconciliation, where he mentioned he shouldn’t have to confess everything; the sins he felt most sorrow and remorse for are already known by God. I have been encouraging him to go to confession, and tried to subtly remind him that ALL sins he can recall need to be confessed. At this point, I guess I simply have to let go and leave it to him.

:frowning: That’s so sad. Ironically, the abortion may have been a wake-up call as to how far away he is from Jesus and how close he is to the Evil One. The fact that he has a genuine desire to go to Mass is a good sign. I would suggest praying very intensely for him. Entrust him to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Make reparation for him, especially in fasting and the Stations of the Cross. Pray the Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy. If you’re able to speak about the Sacrament of Reconciliation, do so in the form of personal testimony. Talk about how much you love it, and how it’s helped you. Also, pray that the Lord will send someone to help him even if it isn’t you. Hope this helps.:gopray::blessyou:

I have no advice, but i shall pray…

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.