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  #11  
Old 18th April 2010, 01:12 AM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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To whom do we owe the truth?
Everyone, but especially God. Whenever we lie, we offend God.

For instance, if the Fuller Brush man comes to my door, ( I know I'm dating myself here ), and I tell my kid to inform him that mommy is not available, when in fact, I am, is this an immoral act?
Yes, it is immoral to tell a child to assert that a falsehood is true.

Do I owe this man my time and am I obligated to listen to his sales pitch so as to avoid a lie?
You are obligated to refrain from lying; you owe this obligation to God.
You are not obligated to listen to a sales pitch.
You can say, "I don't want to listen to your sales pitch."

In other words, am I to engage in conversation with this man just because he wants me to?
No, you are not obligated.

Or, do I act rudely, and tell him that he is not welcome at my doorstep selling his products?
When acting rudely is not a sin, then you may act rudely.
It is not a sin to tell him that he is not welcome to sell at your doorstep.
It is not moral to lie in order to be nice.
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  #12  
Old 18th April 2010, 01:51 AM
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Thank you Ron for your explanation.
The reason I asked the question, is because I listened to a certain priest a while back, give a talk on EWTN in which he stated that we do not owe every person the truth. As I remember, he said that the truth was owed to those in proper authority over us, such as spouses, parents, bosses, teachers, civil authorities, etc.
I was unsure back then, but it has always remained in my mind whether this was accurate or not and I have to admit that it seemed logical at the time.
I appreciate the clarification.
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  #13  
Old 18th April 2010, 11:37 AM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Yes, I've heard that point of view before. But it contradicts the teaching of Veritatis Splendor on intrinsic evil. There are some serious problems within the Church today on the subject of moral theology. Certain serious errors have become widespread even among those who teach moral theology.

"Today, however, it seems necessary to reflect on the whole of the Church's moral teaching, with the precise goal of recalling certain fundamental truths of Catholic doctrine which, in the present circumstances, risk being distorted or denied. In fact, a new situation has come about within the Christian community itself, which has experienced the spread of numerous doubts and objections of a human and psychological, social and cultural, religious and even properly theological nature, with regard to the Church's moral teachings. It is no longer a matter of limited and occasional dissent, but of an overall and systematic calling into question of traditional moral doctrine, on the basis of certain anthropological and ethical presuppositions."

"At the root of these presuppositions is the more or less obvious influence of currents of thought which end by detaching human freedom from its essential and constitutive relationship to truth. Thus the traditional doctrine regarding the natural law, and the universality and the permanent validity of its precepts, is rejected; certain of the Church's moral teachings are found simply unacceptable; and the Magisterium itself is considered capable of intervening in matters of morality only in order to 'exhort consciences' and to 'propose values', in the light of which each individual will independently make his or her decisions and life choices."

"In particular, note should be taken of the lack of harmony between the traditional response of the Church and certain theological positions, encountered even in Seminaries and in Faculties of Theology, with regard to questions of the greatest importance for the Church and for the life of faith of Christians, as well as for the life of society itself."
Pope John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor.
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  #14  
Old 18th April 2010, 03:17 PM
Rob Rob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Conte View Post

When an act is objectively gravely immoral due to any one font of morality (bad intention, or bad moral object, or the bad consequences gravely outweigh the good consequences), then the other two fonts cannot make the act less than an objective mortal sin. The other two fonts can make the act a more serious mortal sin or a less serious mortal sin, but they cannot lessen it from mortal to venial because the one font remains gravely disordered.

I see, thank you. I used to classify serious sins as mortal, and less serious sins as venial sins. So actually you are saying that lying might be a more serious or less serious mortal sin, but still remains a mortal sin.
Therefore it is possible to commit an objective mortal sin which is not an actual mortal sin and still be in a state of Grace; but then would not the term venial sin be more appropriate to describe this situation since it is not an actual mortal sin?
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Last edited by Rob : 18th April 2010 at 03:24 PM.
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  #15  
Old 18th April 2010, 05:01 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Lying can be objectively a venial sin or objectively a mortal sin. In order to be an objective mortal sin, one or more of the fonts of morality must be gravely disordered: intention, moral object, consequences. If there is no gravely immoral intention, and no gravely harmful consequences, and no second moral object that would be gravely immoral (such as breaking an oath to tell the truth), then a lie would be objectively venial.

If a lie or other act is objectively a mortal sin, it must also be done with full knowledge and full deliberation in order to be an actual mortal sin. Only actual mortal sin causes the loss of the state of grace. So a person might commit objective mortal sins and still be in the state of grace. This is probably fairly common among non-Catholics, who do not realize that their acts are objectively mortal sins.

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So actually you are saying that lying might be a more serious or less serious mortal sin, but still remains a mortal sin.

Lying is usually a venial sin. Whenever any act is an objective mortal sin, due to one or more gravely disordered fonts, the other fonts cannot cause the act to be less than a mortal sin.

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Therefore it is possible to commit an objective mortal sin which is not an actual mortal sin and still be in a state of Grace; but then would not the term venial sin be more appropriate to describe this situation since it is not an actual mortal sin?

When a person commits an objective mortal sin that is not an actual mortal sin (due to a lack of full knowledge or lack of full deliberation), the act is both an actual venial sin and an objective mortal sin.
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  #16  
Old 18th April 2010, 05:59 PM
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So, Ron, it sounds to me that a person must have full knowledge of the spiritual consequences of the act of lying and give full consent to sin mortally, meaning he/she has used all of his faculties in any given moment, to ascent to sin.
Also, in a courtroom situation, where one has sworn to tell the truth, yet commits perjury in order to protect his/her reputation or agenda-not considering the spiritual consequences, into what category does this sin fall?
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  #17  
Old 18th April 2010, 06:10 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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So, Ron, it sounds to me that a person must have full knowledge of the spiritual consequences of the act of lying and give full consent to sin mortally, meaning he/she has used all of his faculties in any given moment, to ascent to sin.
The knowledge needed for actual sin is knowledge that the chosen act is immoral, not necessarily knowledge of the spiritual consequences.

Actual mortal sin:
1. gravely immoral act (objective mortal sin)
2. full knowledge of the grave immorality of the act
3. full deliberation (i.e. full consent)

If a person lies with full knowledge that lying is immoral, and with full deliberation, it is still not a mortal sin because lying is not gravely immoral -- unless some other factor makes one of the fonts gravely disordered.

If a person lies with out full knowledge or full consent, but with some degree of knowledge and consent, then the act is a less serious venial sin.

If a person commits any venial sin with full knowledge and full consent, then it is one of the more serious venial sins, but it is still venial unless the act is objectively a mortal sin.

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Also, in a courtroom situation, where one has sworn to tell the truth, yet commits perjury in order to protect his/her reputation or agenda -- not considering the spiritual consequences, into what category does this sin fall?

Lying under oath is generally a mortal sin because breaking an oath is a gravely disordered moral object. So perjury has two moral objects, one venial (lying) and the other mortal (breaking an oath). I suppose that it is possible to lie under oath venially, if the lie were not related at all to the serious matter that the court is considering, but to some other minor matter.
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  #18  
Old 27th April 2010, 07:10 PM
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Sacredcello Sacredcello is offline
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I have a question about whether something is a lie or not.

For example, let's say, theoretically, that my husband and I are planning to have a home birth with an experienced midwife for the birth of our first child. We anticipate that there will be questions from family members about where the birth will take place, etc. I especially feel that this is private and is none of their business. Four out of four nieces/nephews on my husband's side have been victimized by hospital interventions which are standard practices and were born by c-sections. They have no problems turning over their bodies to others for such an important and sacred event. I wish to avoid this unless there is a medical emergency which most births are not. We will likely be living within a 5 minute drive of the hospital.

Would it be a lie to say, "We are discussing the details of our birth plan with our doctor." This statement is true in that we have already discussed this with our Obgyn and have informed her of our intent. But, it leaves out the information about the home birth.

Or, if this is, in fact, a lie, how does one answer the question while maintaining our privacy and without causing harm to the relationship with relatives?
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  #19  
Old 27th April 2010, 08:22 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Would it be a lie to say, "We are discussing the details of our birth plan with our doctor." This statement is true in that we have already discussed this with our Obgyn and have informed her of our intent. But, it leaves out the information about the home birth.

You are giving an example of mental reservation. One truth is stated, while another related truth is reserved. They do not have a right to that information, and you have a good reason for withholding the information. So in this type of situation, mental reservation would generally be moral.
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  #20  
Old 8th May 2010, 12:57 AM
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Ron, I have another lying question. I think I know the answer, but just wanted to run it past you anyway.
What of parents lying to thier children about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny?
Since lying is always intrinsically evil, it sounds like a venial sin to me. Is this correct?
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