Vandalism

Would it be in the realm of mortal sin to have spray painted a stencil or something on private property when not really practicing my Faith years ago?

In order to be guilty of mortal sin you must meet these criteria:

  1. It must be a grave sin. When it comes to property, if the damage was costly for the property owner, then it would have been a grave sin because the owner would have to have restored his building’s facade at, what for him, would have been great cost. Many small business owners’ insurance goes up when they are vandalized–something that costs them a lot of money and may make it hard to impossible to be insured.

  2. If you knew that the damage would be expensive for the owner, then it was a grave sin. There might be some grounds to say that if you were a teen at the time you didn’t fully grasp how the damage you did would cost the property owner a large amount of money. Kids often do such things carelessly because teens don’t always have an adult understanding of consequences.

  3. You must have done it of your own free will.

Go to your confessor and tell him what you wrote here. He will know how to handle it and what penance to give you. I doubt he will tell you to make direct amends to the property owner, but you will have some penance to do. Don’t be afraid–he’s heard much worse sins that yours, and God does forgive us, even the worst of us, which you aren’t. :slight_smile:

Why not just ask a good confessor? That way, if it is, you can be absolved right away.

Well i am at work. I asked a priest friend, and he said he’d say it was venial. just getting your thoughts.

Venial if the damage was minimal for the property owner, that is. An off the cuff judgment is not the same thing as disclosing sin in the confessional. Best to confess it rather than just discuss it. :slight_smile:

minimal. maybe would take a few dollars in white paint. I am going to confess it i suppose, but i tend to be scrupulous leaning…

If that’s all it was, you can confess it, of course, but if you tend to be scrupulous, you might want to “suck it up” and leave it alone. It can be hard to do if you are the sort of person who obesesses about small matters. Actually, it’s been forgiven and fogotten by God when you participated in the first Mass after the offense. Let it go. God has. :slight_smile:

So we are not even talking about grave matter then, correct?

Correct. :slight_smile:

well I feel much better. I may mention in my next scheduled confession, but not worried anymore. Thanks!

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