Saturday, April 30, 2005

Calumny and Detraction

I think this is too important to get lost in the comments section, so I'm reposting it as a blog entry.

To clarify, here is the relevant CCC section:
2475 Christ's disciples have "put on the new man, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness."274 By "putting away falsehood," they are to "put away all malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and all slander."275

2476 False witness and perjury. When it is made publicly, a statement contrary to the truth takes on a particular gravity. In court it becomes false witness.276 When it is under oath, it is perjury. Acts such as these contribute to condemnation of the innocent, exoneration of the guilty, or the increased punishment of the accused.277 They gravely compromise the exercise of justice and the fairness of judicial decisions.

2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury.278 He becomes guilty:

- of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;

- of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them;279

- of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.

2478 To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor's thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:

Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another's statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.280

2479 Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one's neighbor. Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity.

2480 Every word or attitude is forbidden which by flattery, adulation, or complaisance encourages and confirms another in malicious acts and perverse conduct. Adulation is a grave fault if it makes one an accomplice in another's vices or grave sins. Neither the desire to be of service nor friendship justifies duplicitous speech. Adulation is a venial sin when it only seeks to be agreeable, to avoid evil, to meet a need, or to obtain legitimate advantages.

The qualifications of calumny and detraction, of which members of this blog stand accused, are "unjust injury", "without objectively valid reason", and "by remarks contrary to the truth". One does not own a good reputation that they have not earned through their good action. No one on this blog has spoken one untrue word, or needlessly libeled another's actions. Our words have been written for the objective purpose of shining the light of Truth on these individuals' actions in the hope that they will repent and be returned to good standing in God's family, the Church. The secondary reason is that by the removal of said persons from such position of authority, they will not continue or in the future cause scandal to the Body of Christ. Now that it is apparent that the owner of the board has committed the sin of complaisance by allowing malicious acts to be perpetrated against former board members without correction, it seems that the secondary reason of exposing this issue is impossible. Nevertheless, we desire to avoid the scandal of the Body of Christ.


At 10:18 PM, Blogger Jimbo the Terrible said...

...and that's a point I need to make. I think that message boards with private message systems and Administrators who insist on creating a cult of personality provide tremendous temptation to all of these sins. Form the very first day I was in contact with the administration of that board, I was immersed in an environment of constant backbiting and gossip. Of course I have fallen prey to it, on many occasions. However, I realized how terrible it was, and I instituted the policies I was applying- ones designed to severely curtail the gossip and backbiting by providing a strict set of rules and simply not listening to complaints and cajoling.

Oh, but wait, I'm also a criminal mastermind who put eight years into helping people convert just as a front so I could angle for Sig's crappy job. Yeah, that makes lots more sense. Sheesh.


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