Detraction but public knowledge


If something negative is public, if it was placed in a local newspaper, could it be detraction? Not detraction then but Newadvent said something like the time elapsed makes a difference, so how about if it happened say 1 month ago? 1 year ago? 5 years ago? Can someone tell me if that time difference would matter if you could still find the information on the internet?


Was it necessary? I know if the person has made reparation for it you shouldn’t bring it up. If the person you told already knew about it it’s not as serious.


I don’t see any time limit in the Church teaching.

CCC 2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:

  • 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.


Also I understand a similar concept is applied in law, whereby if someone has been previously convicted of a crime, & is now being accused again of committing a new crime; at the trial/hearing, you arent allowed to mention the previous conviction in the courtroom, so that the present case is not prejudiced.


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