Skip to comments.Catholic Word of the Day: CALUMNY, 07-19-14
Posted on 07/19/2014 7:14:50 AM PDT by Salvation
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Injuring another person's good name by lying. It is doubly sinful, in unjustly depriving another of his good name and in telling an untruth. Since calumny violates justice, it involves the duty of making reparation for the foreseen injury inflicted. Hence the calumniator must try, not only to repair the harm done to another's good name, but also to make up for any foreseen temporal loss that resulted from the calumny, for example, loss of employment or customers. (Etym. Latin calumnia, a false accusation, malicious charge; from calvi, to deceive.)
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
Very serious sin.
Contrast with “detraction,” which is injuring another’s good name by telling the truth. This should also be avoided, unless it is necessary to prevent a greater harm.
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That one is so hard. You know when the person is just lying and you have to decide whether to tell the truth about them. Fortunately prayer and Reconciliation come in very handy in these situations.
Yes, detraction isn’t necessarily a black-and-white situation. What harm withholding information could do isn’t always clear.