Is it a sin to ...


Is it a sin not to tell the truth if you point out that you are not telling the truth?


This is a bit vague…

Do you mean, for example, a situtation in which you give a false answer and then say, “Just kidding”?

Or when you say, “This is completely false, but…” as a lead-in?

I can’t really think of another way your hypothetical could occur. Clearly, in both of the above cases, there’s no intent to deceive, and the second example is completely absurd.

Can you be more specific?



Priest giving a homily at Mass: " … a person came to me in confession, of course, I’m changing a lot of the story around to maintain the seal of confession so that you can never figure out who it might be … "


The priest has an obligation to protect the identity of the person whose confession he will use to illustrate a point. How could it be sinful to do so? He has no intent to deceive, and the listeners have no right to know the circumstances.



Is a non-lie that everyone knows is a non-lie actually not a lie?


It IS a sin to use the english language like that, unless you’re trying to be funny, in which case it’s not a sin, but a non-sin that we can wink at and CALL a sin.

…unless it’s Tuesday. Never could get the hang of Tuesdays.

But, it’s not Tuesday, so never mind that last bit.


I have the same question. I am not sure that he is doing anything sinful, he is using that to preach and teach. I have heard many a priest say this and they do say that they are changing the story to protect the seal of the confessional.


So, you think that hypotheticals used as teaching exercises might be sinful?



Jesus used parables in his teaching all the time - there never was a real Prodigal Son or a real Good Samaritan … that would be what the priest is doing in your example.

I think it’s fine.


Regardless of the intent (preaching), is making things up which are not true but alerting the listerners that it is not true, is that sinful


No more sinful than telling your kids bedtime stories. You don’t worry about that, do you?



But it’ll be Tuesday in a few days, so then it WOULD be a sin to have done this…right?

MAN, that CCC is SOOOO legalistic!




I read my daughter stories from the bible so I don’t have that worry as far as that is concerned but I do wonder about Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.


The imagination is a wonderful gift from God. Writers of fiction and tellers of stories use this gift to communicate larger truths about God and His world and men and women. It is not necessary that every story be specifically religious in order to do this. Think of fairy tales and fables - many life truths can be learned here. Santa Claus, handled correctly, can help a child understand the giving aspect of Christmas. Some things, like the Tooth Fairy (who, by the way, uses children’s teeth to build houses and pave the streets where she lives) are simply harmless fun that help a child get over a little fear, like losing a tooth.

Have you ever spoken to your confessor (and I hope you have only one) about these worries? I know you want to honor the truth and be as pure as possible when you bring Holy Communion to the sick, but you appear to be slipping toward scrupulosity. Your recent questions to this forum are focused more and more on things that would not even occur to most people striving to live a holy life. It may be time to ask for help.



The Bible does not say that we shouldn’t lie, it says:

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour”.

To my understanding, the key word here is AGAINST. It’s only a sin if we lie to hurt someone. For example, if I know there is a murderer out to get my wife, and he comes to the door with an axe in his hand and asks “is your wife in?” I’m going to lie to him and say no she’s somewhere else.

On the other hand, if it’s the IRS and I know I haven’t been paying my taxes, and they come to the door and say “Are you David L”, if I was to lie, I’d be adding one sin to another.

Always telling the truth and never witholding anything would be absurd. You wouldn’t be able to tell a joke, or even use a parable in a sermon. You wouldn’t be able to use any subtlety in interacting with people or building friendships, and trust would have no value.


It MIGHT be that. Or, it may have something to do with the fact that certain devotions have associated with them the promise of us being able to recognize our sins better so that we can confess them and avoid them in the future.

Don’t know :shrug:

You’ve given me something to think about.


It can’t hurt to ask a priest. I’ll pray for you.


P.S. Who is that saint in your signature, and why does he have a gun and a lizard?


Heh he he he…

But actually, I was refering not to the if-funny-non-sinfulness of that particular form of english usage, but the non-“Tuesday only winkish CALLING it sinful” part being not OK to do on Tuesdays.

Got that? Good.

Perhaps I should take up Cannon Law,… whatcha think? :slight_smile:

Mahalo ke Akua…!
E pili mau na pomaikai iaoe. Aloha nui.


Thank you :slight_smile:

That’s a photo of the St. Gabriel Possenti holy medal. Gabriel Possenti was a Catholic seminarian whose marksmanship and proficiency with handguns single-handedly saved the village of Isola, Italy from a band of 20 terrorists in 1860. Gabriel Possenti was officially canonized a saint by the Catholic Church in 1920. A great crowd of cardinals and bishops attended the canonization. Source.

The firearm symbolizes the handgun that he used to save the people. I have no idea about the lizard. Again, it’s a representation of the St. Gabriel Possenti holy medal which contains a hundgun and a lizard on it.


Very interesting. I guess I’ll have to go google the lizard thing.



Here’s the story of the lizard. If you Google St Gabriel Possenti lizard, you get a more detailed, less tame version of the story as the first match. You might enjoy it.


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