Justifiable Judgement on Someone?



I have a simple question, I hope.

I am soon to become a police officer and have been doing much meditation on the fact that I will have to be judging people sooner or later, that’s what good cops do! So, I was curious if this is permissible or not being a Catholic, seeing as how it is not morally correct to judge someone. Anyone have some suggestions or sound advice?



Part of the problem is the lack of New Testament understanding of what judging is.

Judging others is forbidden to us as followers of Christ, but not discernment. (Matthew 7:1-2)

However, discernment is required of us.

Judging has three components.

  1. Discover facts.
  2. Determine if a sin/crime has been committed.
  3. Condemn and pass sentence.

I’ve had well meaning people point out the following verse as a clear contradiction in the New Testament. (1st Corinthians 2:15) [size=][FONT=“Palatino Linotype”]“The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.” **The actual Greek there is better translated “discerns”, the difference being that this is more detective work than the function of a judge who goes the additional step in passing sentence. **

So then, according to the New Testament, “discernment” involves only two of the three aspects above.

  1. Discover facts.
  2. Determine if a sin/crime has been committed.
    -]3. Condemn and pass sentence./-]

That’s where you fit in.
May St. Michael the Archangel be your patron and protector.[/FONT][/size]


This clears my mind of all worry! It makes much more sense this way as well. Thanks so much.


To my mind you are not called upon to judge anyone when acting in the capacity of police officer. You are not deciding whether anyone is guilty or innocent of anything. You are there to obtain the objective facts and present them to the next level of authority. You will undoubtedly be asked to make judgements regarding whether something rises to the level of needing an arrest for instance. But this is not judging any person,but judging the facts as known to you about a situation and then making the best choice based on your training.

If you wish to be a good cop, then tell the truth, regardless of how difficult that can be. Also, do not fall into the trap of determining that you know the truth about a situation but are afraid others won’t and decide you need to fudge the facts so no one will make a mistake. That is the most obvious pit fall that police officers fall into. No one is judging you when your case is dismissed higher up the ladder. It is a statement about the facts or lack of them. Don’t get confused.

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