is this gossip?


If I would say something negative, yet true, about someone without using their name, would it be gossip? Would It be gossip if it wasnt true?

Now if I would say, “I cannot stand my boss because he is a treats me badly,” would that be a sin?


Well, I remember a priest one time giving a homily about gossip. One thing that I clearly remember him telling us is that just because something is true, we don’t have the right to tell everyone.

Yes, if it is untrue, that is definitly gossip, and it is malicious.

Be careful what you say about other people, and be careful to whom you say it.


It might count as gossip. That said, other factors may play in. For instance, are you seeking help or relief from the person you are speaking to? Generally the conversation wouldn’t end there so it could end up being gossip, detraction and defamation.

A priest would probably be able to better help you examine the situation.


What if i am saying this to someone who do not know the individual I am speaking to, would it then count as gossip? I use to work in customer service and if i would explain a situation on the internet in which someone was very rude to me, would this be gossip? Would this count as gossip? Would this count as what mommyof4 said about her gospel from a priest, in which i wouldnt have to tell the world the situation? Thank you all for your help.


The first would be calumny, the second detraction.


I thought calumny is false.


Oops, yes, it is (false, that is).


You sound very scrupulous here but that’s not necessarily bad. Unless you have good reasons (like a general warning about another’s evil intentions, for example) it is best you don’t talk about anyone just for the sake of gossip. Talking about someone living with someone else is totally wrong as it serves no good purpose. So is talking about someone being gay or violent or whatever unless that person is a known child molestor or something of that nature.

Always ask yourself if anyone would actually benefit from your revelations about someone else, good or bad.


So it seems that the general consensus is that I should not post the story of my experience with a rude customer on another message board. Is this what everyone believes? I just want to make sure we are all on the same page.


Again, context is important. I’m not sure I agree that this is always a problem provided there is nothing that can point to that person directly. For instance, I’ve actually used other people’s rude behavior as an object lesson for my children. They’ll never know who the person is but they’ll know that it isn’t right to use this behavior and that it hurts those at who it was aimed. I don’t think that is considered gossip. If someone was asking you how they should handle a certain situation and you told of your similar story and how you handled it (without giving away anyone’s identity), I doubt a priest is going to tell you that is gossiping. Like I said, ask a priest.


CCC 2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury.278 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.

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.


The definition of “gossip” to which I hold myself is this:

Say nothing that would lower the opinion of one person in another’s eyes.

That being said, with regards to your second question about posting a story on the internet… Even if the identity of the “rude customer” would never be known, the story could cause others to think less of their customers who are unpleasant, and may even give them an excuse to treat a rude customer badly. “Well, that guy on the internet agrees with me that we shouldn’t have to take this from people,” for example.

We all have moments when we feel we need to vent or explode. But what purpose would it have to share a negative story with countless strangers except to have them say you’re right and the rude customer was wrong? Spread forgiveness and mercy.

Just my two cents’.


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