Is this Calumny?


So I might be getting a spiritual director, our first meeting is on Friday. I am actually excited to begin our work together. However, I can’t help but think that I committed the sin of Calumny. As I was telling my friend this I said (sarcastically I might add) “Yeah he’s probably going to say that I am condemned.” I guess it was a form of self-deprecating humor. My biggest fear is that what I said could potentially harm his reputation.

So here’s the question. Does anyone think I committed the sin of calumny?


Hi Maximus 88,
No, I don’t see that as calumny at all. It sounds like nothing more than humor aimed at yourself, if anyone. I would not worry at all about this.

I would like to caution you on choosing your SD, however. Make sure he or she has the same values you find important, spiritually speaking. I went to a Catholic SD for 2 years, almost monthly, because she was Catholic. In fact, my parish priest recommended her. She’s also a Third Order Carmelite. Two years in, she dropped the bombshell that she didn’t believe in hell, AT ALL. I went back once or twice but finally told her I couldn’t deal with that…esp since Jesus talks twice as much about hell in the Bible than heaven…

Then I got new SD, a Catholic nun. Met her at Catholic college. Told her right off my problem with last SD, and she also informed me that hell wasn’t a real place, it’s just a “literature device” or some such baloney. Needless to say, I didn’t go back there, either.

Anyway, just please be sure to interview your SD carefully before you invest too much time. God bless you!


Our first meeting is on Friday. He is the “director of formation” at the Catholic University I attend. I am a new convert to the Faith, and am struggling with certain issues i.e. a bit of scrupulosity, and “dark night of the soul” type stuff. I hope that God put this priest in my life so that I might grow in the faith, and maybe find a greater peace and love in the Lord.


Wonderful! I will pray for you both. Meanwhile, here’s a definition of calumny from the CCC to put your mind at ease.

CCC 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.


Calumny, no. A further indication that you are dealing with scrupulosity, unfortunately, yes.
It’s good that you will be talking with a priest, whether or not he actually becomes your spiritual director. Be sure to share these issues with him. You are much more likely to find the help you are seeking from him as opposed to coming here with this type of questions.



CCC 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.


No, because the sin of calumny is about lying about another person. God bless you.




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