Daily Series on the Catechism


Section Two:  The Ten Commandments

Chapter 2:  “You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself”

Article 8,  The Eighth Commandment

II.  To Bear Witness to the Truth (cont’d)

§ 2474  The Church has painstakingly collected the records of those who persevered to the end in witnessing to their faith. These are the Acts of the Martyrs. They form the archives of truth written in letters of blood:

  • “Neither the pleasures of the world nor the kingdoms of this age will be of any use to me. It is better for me to die [in order to unite myself] to Christ Jesus than to reign over the ends of the earth. I seek Him who died for us; I desire Him who rose for us. My birth is approaching…” (EAR 6, 1-2: SCh 10, 114).
  • “I bless you for having judged me worthy from this day and this hour to be counted among your martyrs…You have kept your promise, God of faithfulness and truth. For this reason and for everything, I praise You, I bless You, I glorify You through the Eternal and Heavenly High Priest, Jesus Christ, Your Beloved Son. Through Him, who is with You and the Holy Spirit, may glory be given to You, now and in the ages to come. Amen” (MP 14, 2-3: PG 5, 1040; SCh 10, 228).

III.  Offenses Against Truth

§ 2475  Christ’s disciples have “put on the new man, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). By “putting away falsehood,” they are to “put away all malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and all slander” (Eph 4:25; 1 Peter 2:1).

§ 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 (cf. Proverbs 19:9). 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 (cf. Prov 18:5). 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 (cf. CIC, canon 220). He becomes guilty:

  • of rash judgment who, even tacitly [implicitly/quietly], assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;
  • of detraction who, without [an] objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them (cf. Sirach 21:28);
  • of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.

Tomorrow – Offenses Against Truth (to be continued)

(Part III, Section 2, Chapter 2, Article 8 – to be continued)

[Editor’s Note: The abbreviations in today’s posting are noted below.]

  • “cf.” – “confer [compare or refer to]”
  • “CIC” – “Codex Iuris Canonici [Code of Canon Law]”
  • “EAR” – St. Ignatius of Antioch, “Epistula ad Romanos [Letter to the Romans]”
  • “MP” – “Martyrium Polycarpi [The Martyrdom of Polycarp]”
  • “PG” – “Patrologia Graeca [Greek Patrology]”, an enormous collection of writings of the Church Fathers and other ecclesiastical writers in the Greek language published by J. P. Migne, (Paris, 18571866 A.D.)
  • “SCh” – “Sources Chrétiennes [Christian Sources]” (Paris: 1942- )
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