Was this considered stealing?


I just remembered that my husband brought home a cooler full of water bottles from a potluck yesterday. We brought the cooler to the potluck, but not the water. We knew that the water was in the cooler, and took it anyway. Was this considered stealing?

If it was considered stealing, I didn’t realize it until just now. I’m attempting to find out who brought the water, to see if they want it back. If it was considered stealing, and because I just realized it, was it wrong for me to take Communion this morning? Do I need to confess taking Communion while in a state of mortal sin?


Ok, I just talked to the lady who brought the waters. I asked her if she wanted them back, and she said no, that she left them in there for us to take. But, I’m still wondering if I need to confess us taking them without asking?


Do you often deal with scrupulosity? You didn’t do anything wrong.


If you have permission from someone, I don’t see how it’s stealing. It sounds like you took the possessions in good faith.


Hi DoxieMama,

I notice that you do often have sorts of questions like these. Do you talk with your priest about help for scrupulosity? If you have scrupulosity, you need to know that it is not something you should just “handle on your own”. No one handles a broken leg on their own!

Lots of members of CAF do suffer from scrupulosity. Some say also those saints Ignatius of Loyola, Alphonsus Liguori, and the Little Flower also suffered. Please, if you haven’t already, speak with your priest, let him know that you think you suffer from scrupulosity, and ask him for help. It is not something you should try to handle on your own.

May the peace and joy of Jesus Christ fill your life and ease your conscience.


Yes, my priest is definitely aware of my scruples, because I have contacted him quite a bit. I suffer from OCD too, so that doesn’t help. I actually received an answer to this question from someone I trust who is an apologist, and he stated the reasons why this is not considered theft. Thanks for the help everyone!:thumbsup:


I’m also a new Catholic, just confirmed in April. So, I feel like I still have a lot to learn. I feel grateful for this forum.:slight_smile:


I don’t think this is stealing. It does not sound intentional and often at these type of events there are people who simply want others to have what is left over. I would not give this a second thought. The next time you are at a pot-luck make a point to give away some beverages to others.


Really,?someone intentionally eaves a party with bottles of water they know belong to some one else, they do not have permission from that person to take the water, and you guys thing it is not stealing? What the heck is it when I take something that some one else owns?
And no, there is no party etiquette that makes this ok. At every party I have ever been to, it is commonly accepted that left-overs go to the person who brought them, until that person says he/she don’t want them or gives them away. This was clearly not done before the fact.

The OP may or may not struggle with scrupulosity, that can only be determined by her confessor. It is besides the point, a simple scenario was presented and it has a very simple answer: yes it was theft.

From the CCC

2408 The seventh commandment forbids theft, that is, usurping another’s property against the reasonable will of the owner. There is no theft if consent can be presumed or if refusal is contrary to reason and the universal destination of goods. This is the case in obvious and urgent necessity when the only way to provide for immediate, essential needs (food, shelter, clothing . . .) is to put at one’s disposal and use the property of others

How in the world could the OP have validly presumed the water was being given to them? For all the OP knew, the owner of the water had plans for them already.

closed #10

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