Hey everyone. Earlier I was at a friend’s house. In the past someone stole something from me and I had already told this friend about in the past. Well, he asked me about it again and I ended up telling him. I was telling the complete truth but now I realize that I may have committed the sin of detraction and I am afraid that I am in a state of mortal sin.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury.278 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;279
- of *calumny *who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.
2479 Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one’s neighbor. Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity.
I also think this part of the Catechism is relevant:
2488 The right to the communication of the truth is not unconditional. Everyone must conform his life to the Gospel precept of fraternal love. This requires us in concrete situations to judge whether or not it is appropriate to reveal the truth to someone who asks for it.
2489 Charity and respect for the truth should dictate the response to every request for information or communication. The good and safety of others, respect for privacy, and the common good are sufficient reasons for being silent about what ought not be known or for making use of a discreet language. The duty to avoid scandal often commands strict discretion. No one is bound to reveal the truth to someone who does not have the right to know it.283
I avoided telling my friend whom the person was at first because I did not want to gossip but then I gave in and told him. Now I am afraid that I am in a state of mortal sin and that I won’t be able to receive the Eucharist tomorrow.
The only thing that is of any consolation whatsoever is that the Catechism doesn’t state whether or not detraction is grave matter. Also, my mental illness may have reduced my culpability to the point where what I did was venially sinful. I am not sure. I would really appreciate advice though.