Detraction and Names

Is it detraction if you don’t mention any names?

For example, lets say you tell a story from your childhood about how you mangled your hand with a hammer in kindergarten. You say you went to the nurse and the nurse said you were fine, but later your mother took you to the doctor and the doctor said that you were lucky you didn’t break a bone.

Would this be an example of detraction, or would it simply be a story because you didn’t mention anyone specific?

That is not an example of detraction whether you mentioned a name or not.

You really struggle with scruples and I cannot stress enough that you need a REGULAR confessor to help you work through your questions.

Detraction may involve telling people things they don’t need to hear. I think it’s variation of gossip.

**2477 “**Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty: - of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them.”

In regards to your particular story: Do your listeners need to hear it? How will it benefit their lives? I am reminded of Ephesians 4:29: Say things that will edify and grace others.

Even if names aren’t mentioned, it’s possible for listeners to deduct the identity of the subject based on the context behind your statements. To be safe, I would refrain from sharing sensitive stories about others altogether. That’s just me, though.

:nope: You’re always telling him that. It’s possible he’s searching for a confessor, but cannot find one, hence why he continues to ask questions here.

You’re always telling him that. It’s possible he’s searching for a confessor, but cannot find one, hence why he continues to ask questions here.

The OP continues to assert that he does not have a problem. And yet, here we are again with another “is this a mortal sin” post containing nothing sinful at all.

I will continue to urge the OP to seek a holy priest to discuss his ability to discern moral issues until he actually does.

If he hasn’t been listening to you before, what makes you think he’ll listen to you now?

We can’t force people to do what we tell them to do. :shrug: I think you’re wasting your time.


Perhaps, Faxero, repetition will achieve the end - with each suggestion 1ke may indeed be saying a prayer, perhaps the Holy Spirit is moving 1ke to make the suggestion?
[1] And he spoke also a parable to them, that we ought always to pray, and not to faint, [2] Saying: There was a judge in a certain city, who feared not God, nor regarded man. [3] And there was a certain widow in that city, and she came to him, saying: Avenge me of my adversary. [4] And he would not for a long time. But afterwards he said within himself: Although I fear not God, nor regard man, [5] Yet because this widow is troublesome to me, I will avenge her, lest continually coming she weary me. [6] And the Lord said: Hear what the unjust judge saith. [7] And will not God revenge his elect who cry to him day and night: and will he have patience in their regard? [8] I say to you, that he will quickly revenge them. But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?

Thanks for the replies!

I never looked at an examination of conscious guide before, but this one from EWTN seems to say that detraction is only when you are trying to hurt someone’s reputation, and I never try to hurt anyone. I just like telling stories. :shrug:

[quote=EWTN] VIII. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

Have I told a lie in order to deceive someone? Have I told the truth with the purpose and intention of ruining someone’s reputation (sin of detraction)? Have I told a lie or spread rumors which may ruin someone’s reputation (sin of calumny or slander)? Did I commit perjury by false swearing an oath on the Bible? Am I a busybody or do I love to spread gossip and secrets about others? Do I love to hear bad news about my enemies?

I would like to add that there are other aspects to consider besides the reputation of another person. When you tell a story about someone, there are three persons involved: the teller, the listener, and the one about whom the story is told. If the story does not reveal the identity of the person, either directly (by naming him) or indirectly (by providing sufficient detail to identify him), then his reputation is safe, and it does not constitute detraction.

The story may still be harmful to the teller or the listener if it works against charity, cooperation, solidarity, and so on. This might happen, for example, if the story carries the message that people in general are bad, or if it builds up the pride or arrogance of the teller or the listener.

Therefore take care, when telling stories, to show respect for others, even if they are unnamed, and to show charity also toward humanity in general.

In the story you related in the OP, about the school nurse and the family doctor, one may respect the nurse’s opinion, since in fact you did not break a bone or need stitches, or one may recognize that she made a mistake as we all do.

Other stories will differ in the events and circumstances, but in each case it may be possible to look upon others with charity, compassion, humility, and forgiveness.

Keep up the good work, Melodeonist!

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