If Another Person is One Way Gossiping With You, Are You Gossiping?


I went to a store this afternoon and when I was checking out a worker asked me where I worked. I told them and they told me that lots of people hate working at the place where I work. I told them I like working there. They went on to say one of the worker’s names hates working there.

I did not add any gasoline to the fire here. I did not want to gossip, nor did I add anything to their gossiping. I was too wimpy to tell them to stop gossiping. Besides, that would have been rude. :shrug:

Am I guilty of gossiping because I did nothing to stop them from gossiping?


Preist not internet…


I just saw a priest this morning in a scheduled confession. I can’t go to confession tomorrow because I have to work in the afternoon. :shrug:

I figured I’d ask here because there are many knowledgeable people here who know what the catechism says and related.


I don’t think that this constitutes grave matter in the first place. Idle gossip, not malicious gossip. I don’t think that you did anything wrong.


If I were you, I wouldn’t worry about it. You were not gossiping. You aren’t at fault for other people’s gossip. Just don’t feed their gossip.

About the CCC, it teaches:

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.

2478 To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:

Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. and if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved (Saint Ignatius of Loyola).

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.

Edit: I have read somewhere that gossiping becomes a mortal sin when the person A tells person B a gossip about person C, and as a result, Person B gets a bad impression of person C. Here the mortal sin falls into person A.


Thanks for the reply! I don’t believe I fed their gossip. At one point they might have said that the managers are mean, and I told them I disagreed as the managers are always nice to me.

I never had the intent to feed their gossip. I could be wrong, but it seems intent prevents this event from being a mortal sin.


Stop obsessing. You’ve been told you’re fine.
What does the priest say about your scruples?
That’s your bigger problem that needs immediate attention.
Not the idle gossip of someone else.


No, you didn’t gossip and it seems you left in a timely manner. I think you handled it well.


I don’t think asking clarification on Gossip warrants an unsolicited examination and diagnosis of potential spiritual issues.


Hi Melodeonist,

I’m posting a link here to “Catholicism for Dummies.” It’s an explanation about mortal and venial sins. I hope that this will help you. :slight_smile:

Here is the link to that information:



I have been a Catholic for a long time, and I even find myself getting confused sometimes.

I’ll ask a priest for clarification when I need to, but sometimes I think that it can probably be difficult to probably interpret some things. I find myself making use of whatever Catholic resources are available out there, when I need to. :slight_smile:


Gossip is impossible without a listener, so as a general principle, I’d say yes.

No judgement on specific personal situations intended.

“Whenever I hear any malicious gossip about anybody, it goes in one ear and out my mouth”

—Ernest Hemingway



Thanks for the link! I read the bid about deliberate consent and I don’t think that was present in my case. I did not consent to listening to gossip. I said nothing to stop it, but I didn’t want to hear it either. I’d assume I’m only in a state of venial sin then. :slight_smile:


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