They could only be understood in that obvious sense, and that was their only true meaning. Ecclesiastical approbation. The Communist Lie: Level 1: Regarding nature and even existence of Communism itself.Marx’s Communism - the state of authority-less, classless, government-less, state-less, border-less, perfect, utopian Worker’s Paradise - has never existed, does not now exist anywhere, cannot possibly exist, is quite impossible, and might even be taken as some kind of sick joke if it were not so tragic. It makes me sick to my stomach to see all these innocent Catholic people doing the same thing still, and thinking it's Holy. To all our readers, Please don't scroll past this. An officious, or white, lie is such that it does nobody any injury: it is a lie of excuse, or a lie told to benefit somebody. A servant, for example, who had broken a window in his master's house, on being asked by his master whether he had broken it, might without lying assert that he had not done so, if he meant thereby that he had not broken it last year or with a hatchet. When a prisoner pleads "Not guilty" in a court of justice, all concerned understand what is meant. What I cannot do, under any circumstances, however, is to lie and say, “John is certainly not an adulterer.” An injurious lie is one which does harm. There is the same want of correspondence between the mind and the external expression of it that constitutes the essence of a lie. There is the same want of correspondence between the mind and the external expression of it that constitutes the essence of a lie. And so it would seem that, although injury to others was excluded from officious and jocose lies by definition, yet in the concrete there is no sort of lie which is not injurious to somebody. The seal of confession and other secrets had to be preserved, this was a means of fulfilling those necessary duties without telling a lie. To lie is to speak or act against the truth in order to lead someone into error. But it is The absolute malice of lying is also shown from the evil consequences which it has for society. If, then, we allow the lie of necessity, there seems to be no reason from the theological point of view for not allowing occasional murder and fornication when these crimes would procure great temporal advantage; the absolute character of the moral law will be undermined, it will be reduced to a matter of mere expediency. From the middle of the eighteenth century onwards a few discordant voices have been heard from time to time. In this first part of a two-part series on Catholic Social Teaching, we explore the seven main themes. In places almost innumerable Holy Scripture seems to condemn lying as absolutely and unreservedly as it condemns murder and fornication. It has always been admitted that the question of lying creates great difficulties for the moralist. See more. As it was at variance with the knowledge of the speaker, the statement was a lie. When a man bids the servant say that he is not at home, common use enables any man of sense to interpret the phrase correctly. A hypocrite pretends to have a good quality which he knows that he does not possess. Copyright © 2020 by Kevin Knight. If the external manifestation is at variance with the inward thought, the result is a want of right order, a monstrosity in nature, a machine which is out of gear, whose parts do not work together harmoniously. When a man bids the servant say that he is not at home, common use enables any man of sense to interpret the phrase correctly. The words used meant that he has not done it; there were no external circumstances of any sort, no use or custom which permitted of their being understood in any but the obvious sense. Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! A hypocrite pretends to have a good quality which he knows that he does not possess. St. Augustine held that the naked truth must be told whatever the consequences may be. As the hypocrite is justly detested and despised, so should the liar be. Catholic writers call statements like the foregoing mental reservations, and they qualify them as wide mental reservations in order to distinguish them from strict mental reservations. The owner of the house where the man lies concealed, on being asked whether he is there, should as far as possible say nothing. Laymann saw no force in this argument; the man knew that he had broken the window, and nevertheless he said he had not done it; there was an evident contradiction between his assertion and his thought. As it is lawful to kill another in self-defense, so in self-defense it is lawful to tell a lie. Origen quotes Plato and approves of his doctrine on this point (Stromata, VI). MLA citation. Moreover, when a habit of untruthfulness has been contracted, it is practically impossible to restrict its vagaries to matters which are harmless: interest and habit alike inevitably lead to the violation of truth to the detriment of others. There is precisely the same malice in hypocrisy, and in this vice we see the moral turpitude more clearly. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law. So that a false statement knowingly made to one who has not a right to the truth will not be a lie. Of course what is said merely and obviously in joke cannot be a lie: in order to have any malice in it, what is said must be naturally capable of deceiving others and must be said with the intention of saying what is false. Then he gives his own opinion, speaking with hesitation and under correction. It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. What are we to say when a dying man asks a question, and we know that telling him the truth will kill him outright? A list of false teachings in the Roman Catholic Church including it being the one true church, infallibility, authority, salvation, tradition, salvation. (James 5:16) When made privately to a man who is prone to sin there are temptations that may result in blackmail. When the doctrine of equivocation had once been introduced into the schools it was difficult to keep it within proper bounds. Or, says St. Raymund, he may make use of an expression with a double meaning, an equivocation such as: Non est hic, id est, Non comedit hic — or something like that. Sometimes a statement receives a special meaning from use and custom, or from the special circumstances in which a man is placed, or from the mere fact that he holds a position of trust. Remy Lafort, Censor. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09469a.htm Truth is primarily a self-regarding virtue: it is something which man owes to his own rational nature, and no one who has any regard for his own dignity and self-respect will be guilty of the turpitude of a lie. He says that most doctors agree with St. Augustine, but others say that one should tell a lie in such cases. The dictionary definition of lying is to make a false statement with the intention to deceive (OED 1989) but there are numerous problems with this definition. Deacon Keith Fournier: Why I Believe that Mary is the Mother of God, Mother of the Church and Our ... 5 Biblical New Year's resolutions all Catholics should aspire to. -- or something of that sort. It is both too narrow, since it requires falsity, and too broad, since it allows for lying about something other than what is being stated, and lying to someone who is believed to be listening in but who is not being addressed. From the middle of the eighteenth century onwards a few discordant voices have been heard from time to time. Thus a recent authority defines a lie as a false statement made with the intention of deceiving. The Protestant Reformation happened for a reason. These latter are equivocations whose true sense is determined solely by the mind of the speaker, and by no external circumstances or common usage. Sometimes a statement receives a special meaning from use and custom, or from the special circumstances in which a man is placed, or from the mere fact that he holds a position of trust. Some, However, unduly stretched this doctrine. An officious, or white, lie is such that it does nobody any injury: it is a lie of excuse, or a lie told to benefit somebody. But it is possible to lie without making a false statement and without any intention of deceiving. He directs that in difficult cases silence should be observed if possible. Lying is opposed to the virtue of truth or veracity. Most of these writers who attack the common opinion show that they have very imperfectly grasped its true meaning. It rests in the first place on Holy Scripture . The gloss on the chapter, "Ne quis" (causa xxii, q.2) of the Decretum of Gratian, which reproduces the common teaching of the schools at the time, adopts the opinion of St. Raymund, with the added reason that it is allowable to deceive an enemy. There is some difference of opinion among the Fathers of the Christian Church. What does scapular mean? When the doctrine of equivocation had once been introduced into the schools it was difficult to keep it within proper bounds. He refuted the arguments on which the false doctrine was based and conclusively proved the contrary. Please help support the mission of New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download. What is ordination? The words, "I am not guilty", derive the special meaning which they have in the mouth of a prisoner on his trial from the circumstances in which he is placed. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.CONTACT US | ADVERTISE WITH NEW ADVENT. Sometimes a statement receives a special meaning from use and custom, or from the special circumstances in which a man is placed, or from the mere fact that he holds a position of trust. They taught that a man did not tell a lie who denied that he had done something which in truth he had done, if he meant that he had not done it in some other way, or at some other time, than he had done it. His doctrine on this point has generally been followed in the Western Church, and it has been defended as the common opinion by the Schoolmen and by modern divines. Protestant “lie” here was that the Catholic priest was an unbounded liar and Protestants weren’t. As a Catholic, you have the obligation to be correctly informed and normed by the teaching of the Church’s Magisterium. In the case of the former, an example of this would be a car salesman claiming a car to have amazing fuel economy while neglecting to mention that it has no engine and is completely immobile. The German Jesuit, Laymann, Who died in the year 1625, was of this number. Applying this test, we can see what mistrust, suspicion, and utter want of confidence in others would be the result of promiscuous lying, even in those cases where positive injury is not inflicted. Maybe her nerdy steps to learn how to use these The Catholic doctrine on lying According to the common Catholic teaching it is never allowable to tell a lie, not even to save human life. We must say something, if his life is to be preserved: he would at once detect the meaning of silence on our part. 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