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July 2016
Ask a Franciscan
© HPW/FOTOSEARCH ‘Consumed with Guilt and Sorrow’
I am feeling very guilty. I was driving my car and accidentally hit a man with my side mirror. I never saw him, and I don’t know if he stepped in front of me or not. The only reason I know he was hit was my side mirror flipped in, and I heard the snap.

I immediately pulled over and asked the man if he was OK. He was standing there, rubbing his shoulder. The impact did not knock him to the ground. He silently nodded his head, and I gave my apologies and went on my way to catch a train to work.

After sitting at the train station for a few minutes, I became increasingly upset. Had I done enough? The man was Hispanic. Perhaps he did not speak English. Was he in the country illegally and did not want any attention brought to him?

I decided to miss my train and go back to where this happened. He was gone. There was no sign of any further upset, such as an ambulance or police car. I am, however, consumed with guilt and sorrow. It’s not like hitting a light pole; it was a person! Please help me ease my conscience. Do I need to go to confession?

Answer
Mortal? Venial?
The Catholic Church speaks about mortal and venial sins. Protestant Churches have only sin, from the Bible. Where did Catholics come up with the concept of venial sin?
Answer
Still a Leper?
In Matthew 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3- 9, we read that Jesus was eating at the home of “Simon the leper” when Jesus was anointed with costly perfumed oil.

Did Jesus heal Simon of his leprosy? If not, was Simon still a leper at the time of this incident? If so, how could he be hosting a dinner?

Answer
Why in Greek?
In the Latin Mass with which I grew up, the Kyrie was said in Greek. To the best of my knowledge that is the only time Greek was used. Why?
Answer
If you have a question for Father Pat, please submit it here. Please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Some answer material must be mailed since it is not available in digital form. You can still send questions to: Ask a Franciscan, 28 W. Liberty Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202.
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