PART III: LIFE IN CHRIST
Section Two: The Ten Commandments
Chapter 2: “You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself”
Article 8, The Eighth Commandment
IV. Respect for the Truth (cont’d)
§ 2490 The secret of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is sacred, and cannot be violated under any pretext. “The Sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore, it is a crime for a confessor in any way to betray a penitent by word or in any other manner or for any reason” (CIC, canon 983 § 1).
§ 2491 Professional secrets – for example, those of political office holders, soldiers, physicians, and lawyers – or confidential information given under the seal of secrecy must be kept, save in exceptional cases where keeping the secret is bound to cause very grave harm to the one who confided it, to the one who received it or to a third party, and where the very grave harm can be avoided only by divulging the truth. Even if not confided under the seal of secrecy, private information prejudicial to another is not to be divulged without a grave and proportionate reason.
§ 2492 Everyone should observe an appropriate reserve concerning persons’ private lives. Those in charge of communications should maintain a fair balance between the requirements of the common good and respect for individual rights. Interference by the media in the private lives of persons engaged in political or public activity is to be condemned to the extent that it infringes upon their privacy and freedom.
V. The Use of the Social Communications Media
§ 2493 Within modern society, the communications media play a major role in information, cultural promotion, and formation. This role is increasing, as a result of technological progress, the extent and diversity of the news transmitted, and the influence exercised on public opinion.
§ 2494 The information provided by the media is at the service of the common good (cf. IM 11). Society has a right to information based on truth, freedom, justice, and solidarity:
- “The proper exercise of this right demands that the content of the communication be true and – within the limits set by justice and charity – complete. Further, it should be communicated honestly and properly. This means that in the gathering and in the publication of news, the moral law and the legitimate rights and dignity of man should be upheld” (IM 5 § 2).
§ 2495 “It is necessary that all members of society meet the demands of justice and charity in this domain. They should help, through the means of social communication, in the formation and diffusion of sound public opinion” (IM 8). Solidarity is a consequence of genuine and right communication and the free circulation of ideas that further knowledge and respect for others.
Tomorrow – The Use of the Social Communications Media (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]”
- “IM” – Pope St. Paul VI (Dec 1963), “Inter Mirifica [Amongst the Media]”
A Sunday Blessing
May the Lord bless you and keep you!
May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you!
May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace! †(cf. Numbers 6:24-26)