When am I required to make restitution?


Hi I have a few specific questions regarding restitution and would appreciate some advice.

At what point am I required to make restitution? For instance using someones WiFi hotspot without their permission, and using someones passcode with their permission so I could view a free movie channel (but ripping off the movie channel by not paying for it).

How do I make restitution for serious gossip? Also if I stole something from someone but it was a fairly large item but not too expensive can I keep the item but send equivalent money?

The last question is: I was listening to a sermon which stated restitution is required for salvation. How does this apply to the gossip or small thefts I have likely made throughout my life that I no longer remember the details? Will I go to hell for failure to make restitution for stuff I forget?

I would really appreciate hearing the genuine Church teaching on this matter


When you need to make restitution for causing another’s monetary loss, and it is impossible to find them, the standard is to just give money to charity. Give as much you can, up to the estimated value of the damaged/lost/stolen goods.


Can your bring this to the priest in the confessional, letting him know your concern for making restitution? If you have already confessed the sins, received absolution, and made your penance - please let Father know when you mention these sins. If you have not already confessed them, please do so.

The Church teaches that we can go to hell for mortal sins. That is why we want to always be in a state of grace, having confessed our sins in the Sacrament of Confession. (We can not judge a person’s soul, only God can… which is why I said we “can” go to hell for mortal sins.)We need to confess our sins, receive absolution, and do the required penance.

At the end of each Confession we should say something like “for these and all my sins, I am sorry and ask God’s forgiveness.” God forgives us for the sins we have forgotten. (If we later remember a mortal sin, we need to confess that at our next Sacrament of Confession.)

Who gave the sermon about restitution being required for salvation?


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