What to say to sinful Catholic friends?


I have a few close Catholic friends, some only go to Church sometimes others live in sin. Some are repentant but I meet other Catholics who have stopped going to church altogether and live in sin and pretty much don’t care.
With my close friends, I do encourage them back to mass and listen and pray for them. I pray for the other Catholics I know too, is this enough? I just don’t think telling them they are sinful is going to win them back.
Any advice?


It’s your job to love them and demonstrate Gods grace. Don’t participate in their sinful behaviors and keep being open about your faith. Keep being inviting.

At the end of the day they will be judged by God and so pray for them often.


If you tell friends and/or acquaintances they are sinful, you will have very few friends in short order, and most people in your circle will think you are some kind of a nut and avoid you.
As others have already told you, the best thing you can do is pray for them and set a good example for them by your own behavior.


Ditto. You will never earn a single convert by telling them that they are going to hell in a hand basket. People who fall away from the Catholic church return at their own pace and when God calls them, or they don’t come back at all. It will basically come down to what goes on within their own heart. What you say to them is usually of little to no importance. If you get all sanctimonious with them, it is FAR more likely you’ll only convince them to stay gone–as it is playing right into what they expect you to do and how they expect you to react. “Recovering Catholics” as they often refer to themselves, live with their guns loaded --prepared for evangelization attempts which they will blow off–but not so well prepared to watch a truly faithful Catholic live a Christian life, day to day! I fell away from the Catholic faith for over 30 years after being born a cradle Catholic. I honestly believe that my mother brought me home–because I happen to know that she prayed for me every day of her life. I came back to the church to arrange to get her buried in the church, as that was her dying wish. I had absolutely no intention of staying even then–infact, I made that crystal clear to the priest when I met with him. As far as I was concerned, I had spent years ridding myself or all that Catholic guilt and stuff–and I had no plan to get back into it–EVER… I went into that church strictly to arrange my mother’s funeral mass and then I intended to be gone like a blinding flash. That was going on 3 years ago-- God bless answered prayers! My mom’s were answered at her death! Pray for your friends–never preach at them!:thumbsup:


It’s important to keep in mind it’s not just our friends who are sinners. We all are sinners. The most important conversion we can effect, in fact the only one we can effect, is our own.

Let that transformation become a beacon for others.


Prayer, and lots of it. St. Monica prayed an entire lifetime for her son, who was living in sin, and he ended up becoming one of the greatest saints in the Church: St. Augustine.


Unfortunately, today’s youth are very sinful. Their minds have been plagued by secular society and public schools who teach things contrary to the Catholic faith.

But, they know what they do is wrong, and they will be answering for it on Judgement Day.

Pray for them, and ask Our Lady to open their hearts so that they will be spared of God’s terrifying wrath.


Yep, that kind of reasoning and focus will bring loads of sinful kids back to the Church:eek:
We are all sinners, Generation X, Generation Next and Baby Boomers alike. We need to reach out to each other in love and care just as the Holy Father asks us to and stop the holier than thou attitude that is so pervasive.


I didn’t say that we are better than the youth, I said that all we can do is pray for them.


When you point a finger at someone else, three fingers point back at you.


I don’t think making blanket statements like that concerning youth are either helpful or productive.

I can tell you, the kids I work with, a lot of adults I know don’t face half the problems these kids have, and yet, they turn up, motivated, willing to learn and to better themselves and see the positive in their situation and turn it to their advantage.

But, they know what they do is wrong, and they will be answering for it on Judgement Day.

Another very unhelpful remark.

There are three conditions to moral sin which separate man from God: Grave matter, Full knowledge and Deliberate consent of the Will.

It seems to me you are only in a position to speak to the first, and then poorly, by subjective observation or anecdote.

You can not speak to the Full Knowledge or Deliberate Consent of the Will for any individual.

That can only be known by God.

So you are in no position to declare who will answer for what come Judgment Day.

Worth bearing in mind when you castigate whole sections of the population for their ‘‘sinfulness’’.

Sarah x :slight_smile:


I’m a public school teacher and I don’t teach anything contrary to the Catholic faith. People always act like public school teachers are these spawns of Satan or something. :rolleyes:

Also, it seems like youth, no matter what generation, are rebellious.

OP, pray for you friends and hopefully when you do something wrong, they will pray for you too.


Perhaps you work at a city school. I went to a small town school. At my school, the teachers didn’t have a problem with preaching their political views to the class. Imagine an poorly-catechized Catholic hearing that, especially if it came from a Catholic teacher.

And of course, all youth are rebellious. I probably was the most rebellious of them all. But rejecting even part of the Catholic faith should not be part of a teenager’s rebellion.

I’m not saying that rebelling is acceptable (unless the parents are trying to get their child to commit a mortal sin). God told us to honor our mother and father.


Most kids in public schools don’t know what religion their teachers are. Maybe poorly catechized Catholics should just lock themselves in their house and never go out so they won’t hear anything that could tempt them to sin. Heck, maybe we should do that with all youth. That line of thinking isn’t going to help anyone.

I work in the city now, but I grew up in a very small school. I only graduated with 82 kids. I never had a teacher preaching their political views. My government/history teachers did a very good job with explaining both sides of the aisle. I don’t know why teachers of different subjects would even get into a political debate, unless it was maybe because of something one could read for a literature class.


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