THE CATECHISM OF ST. PIUS X

The Eighth Commandment

1 Q: What does the Eighth Commandment, Thou shalt not bear false witness, forbid?

A: The Eighth Commandment, Thou shalt not bear false witness, forbids false testimony in a court of justice, and it also forbids backbiting, detraction, calumny, adulation, rash judgment and rash suspicion and every sort of lying.

2 Q: What is detraction or backbiting?

A: Detraction or backbiting is a sin which consists in making known another’s sins and defects without sufficient reason.

3 Q: What is calumny?

A: Calumny is a sin which consists in maliciously attributing to another faults and defects which he did not possess.

4 Q: What is adulation?

A: Adulation is a sin which consists in deceiving another by falsely praising him or others for the purpose of profiting thereby.

5 Q: What is rash judgment or rash suspicion?

A: Rash judgment or rash suspicion is a sin which consists in judging or suspecting evil of others without sufficient foundation.

6 Q: What is a lie?

A: A lie is a sin which consists in asserting as true or false by word or act that which one does not believe to be really the case.

7 Q: How many kinds of lies are there?

A: There are three kinds: The jocose lie, the officious lie, and the malicious lie.

8 Q: What is a jocose lie?

A: A jocose lie is that which is told in jest and without injury to anyone.

9 Q: What is an officious lie?

A: An officious lie is a false statement to benefit oneself or another without injuring anyone else.

10 Q: What is a malicious lie?

A: A malicious lie is a false statement made to the injury of another.

11 Q: Is it ever lawful to tell a lie?

A: It is never lawful to tell a lie, neither in joke, nor for one’s own benefit, nor for the benefit of another, because a lie is always bad in itself.

12 Q: What kind of sin is a lie?

A: A lie when jocose or officious is a venial sin; but when malicious it is a mortal sin if the harm done is grave.

13 Q: Is it always necessary to say all one’s mind?

A: It is not always necessary, especially when he who questions you has no right to know what he demands.

14 Q: Is it enough for him who has sinned against the Eighth Commandment to confess the sin?

A: It is not enough for him who has sinned against the Eighth Commandment to confess the sin; he is also obliged to retract whatever he said when calumniating another, and to repair as far as he can the harm he has done.

15 Q: What does the Eighth Commandment command us to do?

A: The Eighth Commandment commands us to speak the truth at the proper time and place, and, as far as we can, to put a good interpretation upon the actions of our neighbor.

 

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