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Caitlin Kennell Kim
Mary
Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
General Questions
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP
Ecumenical, Interfaith
Neela Kale
Culture, Moral Theology
Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
Bible
Mike Hayes
Swingman/Editor
 
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Our readers asked:

Can You Lie to Help Someone?

Neela Kale Answers:

Consider that according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church,

“To lie is to speak or act against the truth in order to lead into error someone who has the right to know the truth” (2483).

A classic thought experiment is that of a person concealing a Jew during the Holocaust. If the Gestapo knock on the door and ask if there are any Jews in the home, do they have the right to know the truth? Of course not. In this case Catholic teaching recognizes that merely making a statement that is contrary to fact is not necessarily even a lie. It might be the morally upright course of action.

 
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The Author : Neela Kale
Neela Kale is a writer and catechetical minister based in the Archdiocese of Portland. She served with the Incarnate Word Missionaries in Mexico and earned a Master of Divinity at the Jesuit School of Theology. Some of her best theological reflection happens on two wheels as she rides her bike around the hills of western Oregon.
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Mike

    well said as even in the Bible of Old Testament the whore lied to the guards to save the lives of others too.

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