Is it always wise to admit to someone you lied to him?


#1

I know it’s nice to admit to someone you lied to him, and is often seen to be a good and moral thing to do. But are there situations it is better to simply confess the sin, and leave it at that–untouched? How would you compensate for that?

Say you lied to someone who is anti-catholic? If you admit to him that you lied, what I think would happen is that he’d think, “Oh, if he lied to me on this one, what else is he lying to me about? Is he deceiving me with his religion?” Or like if someone threatened you that he’d do something to you if you exposed a lie? Or like if in general, you see something bad would happen if you admit that you lied?

What are your thoughts?


#2

Talk with your confessor.

I would think there would be occasions where one could not or ought not correct a lie once one has repented.


#3

Yeah, I would think so too.


#4

I am not certain to agree exactly or not.

But for certainty - always obey your conscience.

paduard


#5

There are times when you should not.

There are times when it would be prudent not to, and you don’t have a duty to.

Talk with your confessor. Priests are trained to deal with such issues.


#6

I would go ahead and ask my confessor if-or-when that occasion arises. But I know for sure that there are times when you don’t need too–or even are recommended not to–make reparations to the harmed directly, like if you steal a bulk of office supplies from work–if you admit to your boss that, you might get fired–and I believe that is often the case. I know reading or hearing a priest say that if that happens, he might just have you either work more diligently at work, or donate to the church the estimated amount of what you took.


#7

Depends, sometimes correcting a lie will do serious harm to others and make the situation (or even their lives) worse.

There is the phrase, the truth will set you free. This is true. However, if “setting you free” causes physical, emotional and/or financial damage to someone else, it might be better for you to live with the burden.

My personal believe is that if your lie is protecting someone from physical, emotional, spiritual, and/or financial harm, it might be best to keep the truth to yourself. But ONLY if you are doing it to protect another person, not primarily to protect just yourself.

Obviously, this can also backfire if the truth ever comes out later. But that’s why lies are so dangerous. Lies damage trust.

It’s better not to lie to begin with, and/or not to do things which cause you to lie.


#8

Not always.


#9

The responses on this thread are confusing to me. I would think that if your lie was a mortal sin and caused grave injury then the just thing to do would be to admit it. One, as reparation for your sin but, more so, to undo the injustice that was committed. I’m not saying that it would be easy to do but to live with destroying soneone’s good name or something equally damaging would be very hard. (Trust me, I’m not perfect so I would find this very, very hard, too).


#10

The responses on this thread are confusing to me. I would think that if your lie was a mortal sin and caused grave injury then the just thing to do would be to admit it. One, as reparation for your sin but, more so, to undo the injustice that was committed. I’m not saying that it would be easy to do but to live with destroying soneone’s good name or something equally damaging would be very hard. (Trust me, I’m not perfect so I woukd find this very, very hard, too)


#11

One interpretation of the commandment to love one another is to choose whatever is best for the other person. I imagine in some circumstances admitting to a lie may harm the other person more than it benefits him.

This is debatable. It may be dead wrong. I just don’t know. One should be careful not to use it as an excuse or an easy way out. It is quite possible that owning up to the truth could heal the damage to your relationship with the other person. Maybe the other person already knows that you lied, or that you have an uncomfortable secret, and this will put your relationship on a better footing. Pray on it, talk with your confessor or spiritual director, and keep your mind open to the possibility that there is a way to disclose the truth that will make things better.


#12

That’s not what we are saying. We are saying that unique situations do exist where the truth does more damage to innocent people than the lie.

Sometimes, the unselfish thing to do is for the sinner to receive more “suffering” in purgatory for lying than to emotionally and/or financially damage someone who is an innocent.

These situations are best to be discussed with your priest, spiritual director and/or perhaps even a Catholic Therapist.


#13

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