Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 457.

YOUCAT Question n. 457 - Why does telling the truth require discretion?

(Youcat answer - repeated) Communicating truth must be done prudently within the context of charity. Often the truth is wielded as a weapon and thus has a destructive rather than a constructive effect.   

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2488) The right to the communication of the truth is not unconditional. Everyone must conform his life to the Gospel precept of fraternal love. This requires us in concrete situations to judge whether or not it is appropriate to reveal the truth to someone who asks for it. (CCC 2489) Charity and respect for the truth should dictate the response to every request for information or communication. The good and safety of others, respect for privacy, and the common good are sufficient reasons for being silent about what ought not be known or for making use of a discreet language. The duty to avoid scandal often commands strict discretion. No one is bound to reveal the truth to someone who does not have the right to know it (Cf. Sir 27:16; Prov 25:9-10).        

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) When conveying information, we should think of the “three sieves” of Socrates: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it helpful? Discretion is called for also in dealing with professional secrets. They should always be kept, except in special cases defined by strict criteria. Likewise, anyone who publicizes confidential communications that were made under the seal of secrecy commits a sin. Everything we say must be true, but we need not say everything that is true.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 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.

(The next question is: How confidential is the secret of the confessional?)

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