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Is It Ever OK to Lie? by Msgr. Charles Pope

As many of you know, Msgr. Charles Pope writes the Question and Answer Column for Our Sunday Visitor. He recently published an excellent blog post that is worthy of sharing with you here.

For those of you too busy to read the full article, here are some important take-aways (but we encourage you to read the whole blog post and share with others):

  • A lie consists in speaking a falsehood with the intention of deceiving … To lie is to speak or act against the truth in order to lead someone into error … The gravity of a lie is measured against the nature of the truth it deforms, the circumstances, the intentions of the one who lies, and the harm suffered by its victims. If a lie in itself only constitutes a venial sin, it becomes mortal when it does grave injury to the virtues of justice and charity (CCC 2482 – 2484).
  • Life sometimes presents us with difficulties that are not easily overcome. But to adjust moral principles to accommodate anomalies is to engage in a kind of casuistry that does harm to moral principles. Sometimes the best we can do is to shrug humbly and say, “Well it’s wrong to lie, but let’s trustingly leave the judgment on this one up to God, who knows our struggles and will surely factor in the fearsome circumstances.”

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