Is this considered lying?


so, something I’ve not mentioned before is that I technically have a half-brother, he does not live with us, I hardly know the guy. in fact, I didn’t even know he existed until I was about 6 or 7. I’ve only seen him three times in my life.

basically, he’s just a shadowy figure that is sometimes in the back of my mind but I’m hardly conscious of him. so whenever I get asked if I have siblings, I have said I’m an only child just because most of the time, I’m not really even remembering him and I was pretty much raised as an only.

I’m just wonderif I’ve been lying though since I technically am related to him. I haven’t been trying to lie about it, usually I just don’t think of it

and what should I do about it from now on? if I do mention it, people tend to ask questions that I don’t really want to answer. my mom doesn’t really want me to talk about him that much. not that I really know anything. any suggestions?


Just say you are an only child. You are. You are the only child of your two parents. It is nobody’s business about the rest of the family’s dynamics. This guy is not in your life. In future if you become closer you can talk about it then.


Lying requires the intention to lie.

And yes, you’re the only child of your two parents together. If somebody asked if your shared parent only had one child, that would be a different question.

I don’t think this is something you need to keep a dark secret, of course, but it really isn’t people’s business. Nor would people expect you to come out with a family saga when they ask you a simple question.


I see no intention to deceive in what you described.


The Catechism teaches that we should not lie, but it also says:
2489 Charity and respect for the truth should dictate the response to every request for information or communication. The good and safety of others, respect for privacy, and the common good are sufficient reasons for being silent about what ought not be known or for making use of a discreet language. The duty to avoid scandal often commands strict discretion. No one is bound to reveal the truth to someone who does not have the right to know it.
According to this, it may be appropriate to remain silent or to use discreet language. When asked if you have siblings, perhaps it is truthful to answer that you are the only child in your family, since your half-brother lives with a different family. Those who ask are not really interested in a full disclosure of your blood relations. Rather, they wish to know about your family and who is close to you.

I too would be uncomfortable to answer that question, and so I’ll be interested in reading other responses.


As others have said, lying requires not only a false statement but the intention to lie, to mislead. As others have said here, I don’t see that in anything you say. You seem to just be giving a simple answer to avoid having to go into a big explanation. It’s not your intention to make people believe you don’t have a brother.

Blessings in Christ,


I don’t understand the use of the word “technically”. Either he is your half brother by blood or not. Your mother or father is his mother or father. Is this not correct? Where does the “technical” come into it? Just because you hardly know him doesn’t change the relationship.

closed #8

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