Can you lie through silence?

For example if I know somethings false and didn’t speak up did I lie?

No, that is not lying, but it may yet be a sin for other reasons.

Agreed with Jamal as above.

Sure it’s a bit complicated, so it has to be discerned according to individual’s situation.

A priest’s seal of Confession could be a lie according to that reasoning but he cannot speak up because he’s bound by the seal.


The sin of omission. Do they not teach that anymore? I do think silence can be a lie depending on the circumstances.


I’ve never heard of it. However I’m still rediscovering my faith. I have a lot to catch up on.

I’m a bird. I did not learn everything in catechism like y’all. Besides that, I am referring to a lie in itself. A sin of omission is not quite the same thing my lady.

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Confession is a sacrament.

If I were to say hide something through silence. Such as not tell my significant other I’ve been eating lunch with a coworker she asked me to avoid would that be lying? In the sense of I’m decieving here. Even if I never said I would stay away from said coworker?

Not a lie, but still may well be a sin. Seems like it would be a sin to me, but it would have to be discussed with your confessor.

The sin would not be in your silence, it would be in doing what your wife asked you not to do, which seems like a reasonable request, but we don’t know all the details here, so it is difficult to say.

Isn’t it bearing false witness though?

“Thou shalt not bear false witness” forbids: “1. Speaking falsely in any matter, lying, equivocating, and any way devising and designing to deceive our neighbor."

A lie is a falsehood, an untruth, the avoidance of truth for various reasons. If you take my possessions and I ask you, but you are silent with purpose-that is a lie and also the sin of omission.

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Well, it is possible to sin against truth by omission, so in that sense yes.

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:thinking: … Well, there is “mental reservation” which is an accepted concept within Catholic moral theology. It is not always a sin to withhold the truth from a person. That is not the same thing as outright lying which is a sin.


Mental reservation! This is just the subject I needed. I’ve been debating with my father about lying and this definitely clears a few of his arguments up. Although his subjective statement “you cant lie to a liar” will take some battling still.

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Is the ‘mental reservation’ everlasting or do I just need to ‘think’ about it! If I see my neighbor commit a crime and say nothing for years…is that mental reservation?

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You know a couple, who are your neighbours. One day you happened to see the husband with an attractive woman checking into a motel room. Would you tell his wife? What is the consequence for non-action?

Is the co worker make or female?
Is their physical attraction between you or none there?

No. This would fall under discretion. If you ‘tell’ it may cause really bad cause and effects. Mental Reservations is really splitting hairs and there are 3 main components of the theory of mental reservation.

I’d say the opposite sex and no attraction to my knowledge. This is just a constructed scenario. Although now that I think about it I did have such scenario occur before. My conscience must be somewhat at play here. :grin:

If you and your brother ate the last slice of pie, and your mother found out. She lined both of you up and asked who ate the slice of pie? Was it you? And you said nothing. Asked your brother and he said nothing. Wouldn’t it be bearing false witness to your mother? While also being the sin of omission?

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