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Lorraine wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Can an overweight or obese person still be considered a Roman Catholic?

I am an unhealthy eater and close to being overweight, but am curious:

  • Can I still be considered a Roman Catholic despite the fact that I have sinned in the form of sloth (being physically inactive)?

Lorraine

  { Can an overweight or obese person still be considered a Roman Catholic? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Lorraine —

Being a sinner — if you were a sinner, I am not judging you — does not mean you cannot be a Catholic. Otherwise the Church would be empty, as we are all sinners.

The Church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.

Your condition may or may not be the result of sloth (or gluttony). It's worth examining yourself but sometimes genetics plays a role and so does diet (meaning what you eat, not how much).
It's good, with the permission of your spiritual director, to fast and abstain from food regularly — Fridays and Wednesdays are excellent days — to test and practice your self-control. So would mastering certain temptations, especially sexual ones.

Find a spiritual director and ask him to help you. Your doctor may be able to give you advice on weight issues, diet, and other physical issues.

Eric

Mary Ann replied:

Lorraine —

Of course, any person with:

  • a health problem
  • a personality problem, or
  • a moral problem can be Roman Catholic.

"Catholic" means for everybody. The Church has the means to help us overcome our problems. Jesus came for the sick, not the healthy!

Mary Ann

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