Ends Justify the Means
Question from on 07-20-2007:
I know that the Church teaches that we can never do a wrong act, even if it is to bring about a good result. Well, elsewhere I recently read a question asking if someone should work on Sunday when asked to do so by the boss (at a nonessential business, such as a restaurant). The answer given was that it is OK to work on Sunday if declining to do so might jeopardize your job. But this doesn't seem right -- if we're called to uphold the Commandments, the possible loss of a job would simply be the risk we take in order to practice our Christian faith, right? On the other hand, if the answer given is correct, then couldn't the same attitude be taken with other Commandments if we are pressured to violate them?
Answer by Fr.Stephen F. Torraco on 07-23-2007:
The essential point of the third Commandment is to fulfill one's obligation to worship God. If a person attends Mass on Saturday night or Sunday and is required to work on Sunday, that person has not violated the third Commandment. In fact, the person can offer up his or her work as an act of love in service to others. This is very different from deliberately failing to fulfill one's Sunday obligation, and different from deliberately violating any of the other Commandments."