Q. This question is about fasting on Good Friday. I ate boiled crayfish. However, there was sausage boiled in the same water. I did not eat the meat, but was told it was a sin because the meat was boiled in the same water as the crayfish. There were non-Catholics at the function, I was not in control of the situation, but need to know if this is a sin.

C.N., via e-mail

A. Here is a reply from Father Francis Hoffman, J.C.D.:

You are only culpable for a sin if you are aware it is a sin at the moment of the action. If you thought you were keeping the law by not eating the meat, then it was not a sin.

While it clearly would have been better for a Catholic to avoid eating something that was tainted by meat, I think you did the best you could in those circumstances.

But here’s the good news: welcome aboard, because we are all sinners! That’s why I never tire of suggesting that folks go to confession at least every 40 days. Otherwise, they will forget they are sinners, and then they will have no use for Jesus Christ, who came to save sinners.