What is the best way to get rid of a 'chain letter'?

Right before Mass today I walked into my parish and saw that someone placed on a table at the entrance, about 100 pages containing a prayer and telling people to pray it and to bring 100 photocopies of that prayer to church.
I considere a superstition to believe that if you get 100 copies you will obtain a miracle, so I took the pages, tore them in half and threw them away in the waste basket in the atrium of the parish, and hurried inside because Mass was just beginning.
But later in the afternoon, back at home, I thought about it and remembered the pages had a small dark photograph of our Lord. And I worry that I commited a sin throwing those pages!!:eek: I did not mean any disrespect then, I just wanted that nobody continued the superstition of distributing 100 copies in order to get a miracle.:o
Now I think maybe I should have cut each page in order to save the pictures and threw the rest away, but I did not have scissors there. :rolleyes:
What would have been the right way of dealing with it?
Did I commit a grave sin?


Throwing away a leaflet with pictures on it isn’t a sin. I think I’d have told the priest that someone was leaving this kind of material in his church, though.

No sin at all. I have done similar things myself. People who leave such leaflets worry the scrupulous and those inclined to superstition.

It was an act of kindness.

You tore and destroyed something that was not yours. You should have told your priest about the chain letters or payers. While it may not be considered a sin in the conventional sense I do feel you overstepped yourself. It is apparent that someone put thought, time and possibly money into the flyers, and probably with good, honest intentions. So, unless you are someone that has some authority in the parish…I do think you overstepped it a little bit. Just my opinion.

The one distributing the “chain letter” was only fulfilling
a vow to publish 100 copies of a prayer, IMO it’s not a
sin, you were judgmental in what you did, take owner-
ship of your sin and accept culpability and ask the Lord’s
forgiveness, HE is always ready to forgive the moment
we come humbly seeking forgiveness. “Tho the Lord is
exalted, He regards the needy” says the Psalm.(138:6)

Fr. told me to get rid of all I find. I do just what you did. It’s not possible to “keep” everything with a picture on it. Seems these “chain letters” run in cycles. They are superstitious material and Catholics should KNOW better than to go along with it. God Bless, Memaw

You’ve got it backwards, the wrong is in distributing superstitious material not in destroying it. You need to talk to your priest! God Bless, Memaw

It’s NOT a sin to throw away trash to keep others from being misled, God Bless, Memaw

You did the right thing.
As our friend form Liverpool said, it these things do much harm to the scrupulous and the borderline superstitious. These things are not holy.

God bless you. You did perform an act of kindness.
If you had not done it, the priest surely would have.

I don’t know. I think maybe the best way to get rid of chain letters is to set up a little booth beside them where you offer rabit feet and astrology pamphlets. Offer to read the odd palm as well. I’d charge no less than five dollars though.



You committed NO SIN. What you did was in fact virtuous. I and every deacon and priest I know DESPISE this kind of **** in our holy spaces. Yes, I said it is ****, because it is evil and disposing of evil material is virtuous. Plain and simple. Thank you for your help.

Why was the paper “superstitious” ? It was just a prayer, you didn’t say it was to enact a miracle. :shrug:

You assumed it was for a miracle.

But it said to make and leave 100 copies. That’s the problematic part. It if was just holy cards, or a worthy article, fine. The notion that "something " will happen or graces given if one does x, y, & z which are not approved…that’s what makes it problematic.
People are scrupulous enough as it is. There are people who would be very disturbed and affected by these kinds of “admonishments”.
No bueno.

No where did the original poster indicate that the flyers would enact a miracle. I’ll make an assumption that the priest was aware of the flyers and maybe even gave permission for them to be distributed. A flyer to encourage people to pray and to encourage others to pray is a worthy cause and probably never meant to be a chain letter. As no one here knows the exact wording and content of the flyer, I will withold judgement, and just offer my opinion.

So what do you suppose is the purpose of asking for 100 more copies???
The implication is that one NEEDS to do this.
They do not.

We are assuming a lot about this prayer without seeing the actual prayer. The OP is calling it a “chain letter”. I feel unless the letter really said if hundreds of people pray this prayer, there will be a miracle, then it is just a prayer that the person didn’t want to pay for all the paper to photocopy it.

:confused: But if it was a worthy pile of papers with great prayers on them…
why would they post on CAF how to get rid of them?

Seems like the OP perceives they were inappropriate.
Indeed, many pastors don’t like people leaving random items in the narthex.
It’s one thing to ask Father if ETWN programming brochures are ok, it’s quite another to decide that you have a personal preference for some devotion and want to promote it without asking. We don’t do that at churches. Father gets to decide what brochures., prayer cards, and devotions he wants to promote for the good of the spirituality of the parish. It’s just bad form to assume you can set out items.

You’ve never seen one of those kind of prayers, have you? You know one when you see it. It doesn’t have to stipulate that bad things will happen if you don’t make 100 copies and pass it on nor must it state that you must make 100 copies and pass them out to “make” a miracle happen to be essentially a “chain letter”. Bottom line is this- OP did nothing wrong. She removed what is essentially “spam” if you will, from cluttering up the church building. From her basic description, it’s pretty easy to figure out this was not 100 prayer cards with pictures of saints on them.

I agree with this post and the good Deacon’s post.

FWIW, church personal see a lot of this and have to deal with it.
The church is also where umbrellas and wheel chairs go to die. :frowning:

Chain letters are superstitious and violate the first commandment, and are a sin.

Destroying them prevents more people from sinning by continuing the superstition, and that is a good thing.

Those who support chain letters in this post are out of line in condemning the destruction of the chain letters. We are all empowered to stop sin if we can (Ezekiel 14).

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