What about the sin of scrupulosity?

There are so many scrupulous questions Catholic Answers Forums receive from today’s Catholics. These scrupulous questions seemly portray deep anxiety about religious practices of Roman Catholicism, and have nothing to do with spirituality or one’s personal relationship with Christ Jesus. Observe that the sin of scrupulosity (by Catholics who apparently fear thinking for themselves!) may be running rampant in the Forum. In each answer, shouldn’t instruction on the dangers of scrupulosity be applicatory?

Dear friend,

I deal with many people who endure the cross of scrupulosity. There is NO SIN OF SCRUPULOSITY! Scrupulosity is an expression of OCD: obsessive compulsive disorder. It is basically a psychological, physiological problem that can have some spiritual ramifications. But it is not a spiritual problem in itself; still less is it a sin. People with this malady suffer greatly. Unfortunately, it is often misunderstood, especially by confessors. We need to pray for those who suffer in this way and not pass judgment on them.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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