The Sin of Detraction
With everything on the news and blogs lately, it becomes easy to participate in the sin of Detraction without giving it much thought. I am ashamed to admit that this is one area of sin that continues to trip me up. As Christians, we overcome the "big sins" easily but these so called" little sins" seem to go unnoticed and at times are not so little. I think gossip becomes a sin that is justified by many Christians because we "share" information about another with the intention of "praying for them." This may be worse since it is using spirituosity to mask our sin! Yes , I have done this as a "concerned brother in the Lord."
Detraction reveals something about another person that is true but harmful to that person’s reputation.
The fact that something is true does not justify its disclosure. We may not reveal another person’s secret faults or defects unless there is proportionate good involved.
Detraction is a sin against justice because it robs a person of his reputation. Each person has a strict right to his reputation, whether deserved or not.
Because detraction is a sin against justice, it requires reparation. The detractor must try to repair the damage to the victim’s reputation, and also to restore any temporal loss from the detraction, such as loss of employment or customers.
- 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;
- of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.
Scripture says: "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth but that which is good to the use of edifying that it may minister grace unto the hearers."
Right now, as we sit reading this blog, in Colorado, the media is skewering a Christian pastor. Let us
keep him and his family in prayer and ask God to guard our lips from the sin of detraction. We as Catholics should be particularly sensitive and empathetic to the latest news du jour.
Jesus said that it isn't what goes into a man that defiles him but what proceeds out of a man.