Are we required to tell the truth to everyone we have ever lied to?


I have in the passed confessed to lying about a few issues I thought were fairly serious. For example, in college, I was going into education took a class where I was supposed to observe a secondary class with a high minority population and report on the differences. I thought this was troublesome so I just faked the whole situation and wrote the report. This was something like 9-10 years ago.

I noticed, though, in the Catechism, it says:

2487 Every offense committed against justice and truth entails the duty of reparation, even if its author has been forgiven. When it is impossible publicly to make reparation for a wrong, it must be made secretly. If someone who has suffered harm cannot be directly compensated, he must be given moral satisfaction in the name of charity. This duty of reparation also concerns offenses against another’s reputation. This reparation, moral and sometimes material, must be evaluated in terms of the extent of the damage inflicted. It obliges in conscience.

So I am wondering if this means I am required to go back and tell the professor of this class I lied. There are also many other lies I have confessed, to the extent that it would take quite awhile to tell them to the people they involved, most of whom have certainly already forgotten about them; and as far as I know, none of them were ever seriously injured by the lies. Perhaps I am just making excuses, but if this was required, I wish my priest would have told me when I confessed.


No. In fact we are never obligated to expose our sin to others.

You have sacramentallu confessed and done penance. That is sufficient. The fact you are contemplating this leads me to believe you may have a tendency to scruples. If so, get under the care of a regular spiritual director who can help you.

It is not. Please put this out of your mind and be at peace.


Can you explain what the quote from the Catechism is trying to communicate then?


I’m in a 12 Step program & 2 of the steps address your problem. The Steps are very Catholic. :slight_smile:

Step 5 - Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

That’s Confession.

Step 9 - Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

The professor - even if he is still at the school - won’t remember you. So not a lot of point in making amends to him. I made amends to my sister & she didn’t remember the incident at all - & that had happened just a few years earlier. It’s really doubtful that the professor would remember. If it will make you feel better, write out what you would say to him & then ceremoniously burn it. Same for the others, unless you actually did cause them harm.


My Mom once said that would like going to the top of the Empire State Building and shaking all the feathers out of a feather pillow and then trying to pick them all up. God Bless, Memaw


If we have unjustly damaged another’s reputation, we must make reasonable efforts at reparation.


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