Lying, obviously, is a sin that harms others and ourselves in the long run, not to mention a breach of God’s law; a mortal sin if it meets the three conditions (grave matter, full knowledge and full consent). However, I was wondering whether insincerity in writing is lying, or something equally sinful. I don’t get scrupulous that often.
Let me provide a fictional, hypothetical example (sorry for being lengthy) to illustrate the idea. I’ve bolded the most important parts to keep in mind:
James is a minor. He has an older brother who has had a vague history of spontaneous mental illness that makes him do illegal, dangerous things to others and himself.
James’ parents believe that he should get out of the facility that he lives in because he has been rehabilitated, but James does not share this view, nor is he outspoken about it.
James does not believe that his brother has been rehabilitated, and so he does not want him out unless if he changes (however that may be, if ever).
His parents want him to write a letter to the facility detailing why his brother should get out, how he would contribute to society, etc. James can only help but write this because his parents command him to do so, and he cannot object without looking “wrong” or “inhumane” for not supporting his brother.
**So James goes about with the letter anyhow, writing it. He is insincere with his conclusions, but he does it for his parents’ purpose, not for his own. **
Because James wrote it, is he lying (and thus, sinning)? He did not write with the intent to harm anyone, nor to get away with his own sinful actions. If you conclude that it is a mortal sin especially (though I kind of doubt it, it might not be grave matter) please explain why.
Thanks a lot and God bless.