Dec 31, 2012

Truthful in Word and Deed

Pillar Focus The Commandments: You Shall Not Bear False Witness Against Your Neighbor

What is one’s duty toward the truth?
Every person is called to sincerity and truthfulness in acting and speaking. Everyone has the duty to seek the truth, to adhere to it and to order one’s whole life in accordance with its demands. In Jesus Christ the whole of God’s truth has been made manifest. He is “the truth”. Those who follow him live in the Spirit of truth and guard against duplicity, dissimulation, and hypocrisy (CCCC #521).

How does one bear witness to the truth?
A Christian must bear witness to the truth of the Gospel in every field of his activity, both public and private, and also if necessary, with the sacrifice of his very life. Martyrdom is the supreme witness given to the truth of the faith (CCCC #522).

What is forbidden by the eighth commandment?
The eighth commandment forbids:
  • false witness, perjury, and lying, the gravity of which is measured by the truth it deforms, the circumstances, the intentions of the one who lies, and the harm suffered by its victims;
  • rash judgment, slander, defamation and calumny which diminish or destroy the good reputation and honor to which every person has a right;
  • flattery, adulation, or complaisance, especially if directed to serious sins or toward the achievement of illicit advantages.
A sin committed against truth demands reparation if it has caused harm to others (CCCC #523).

Study the Catechism
part 3, section 2, chapter 2, article 8
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