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“Ask a Priest: What If I Lied About Going to a Pro-life Protest?”
Q: I am scared that I committed a mortal sin by not telling my mom I was going to counter-protest at a pro-abortion demonstration. She has different views, and I knew she wasn’t going to let me do it if I told her. What do you think? – A.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: While it’s not good to lie, especially to your mom, it’s not always easy to say what the gravity of a lie might be, given the few details in your e-mail. Perhaps this lie was not a mortal sin.
On the other hand, if it was “only” a venial sin, would you keep doing it? If your answer is yes, there is a problem. To deliberately choose to offend God is a sign that mortal sin looms on the horizon.
But let’s assume that you don’t really want to lie or go through life lying.
The big question here is how to deal with your mom regarding abortion.
Part of your mission in life might be to help her understand and embrace the pro-life cause.
You might want to intensify your prayers and sacrifices for her.
One way to win her open will be your honesty. If she finds out that you are sneaking around, this might feed her belief that the pro-life movement isn’t good — “Look what it’s doing to my son — he lies to me!”
In her defense, it’s worth noting that she was probably concerned for your personal safety, given the rising tensions over the abortion issue right now.
In any case, it would be good to be honest with Mom. Pro-life convictions don’t require anyone to be pro-lie.
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