Must we confess our faith under all circumstances?

Mikekle made a comment in the Media forum which is interesting:
"It also makes me think about the more recent church shooting in SC, where the shooter asked numerous people about God and their faith, and from the news reports, I think some of them refused to answer or denied their faith (to save their skin). I feel so sorry for those people, that is something they will never be able to change.

It just goes to show, you never know when this question is going to be asked under threat of death, Id imagine none of them thought they would face that question when they woke up that morning!"

We are not required to answer every person every question they may ask, especially if they are using the answers as the basis for murder. For example, we don’t have to tell the Nazis searching for Jews that we have several hidden in our attic.
Are we required to answer even psychopaths if they ask about our faith:?

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Do you wish to attain the crown of martyrdom?

There are many ways to answer this question. Let me just be clear, LIFE IS THE MOST PRECIOUS GIFT GOD HAS GIVEN US. Now that I got that out of the way. Lets looks at a couple scenarios.

A person comes to someones house and intends to kill a whole family. The husband is the only one they caught but the rest of his family is in the basement not to be found. Lets say a wife and 5 kids. If they ask him about his faith and he says Catholic and they ask where is his family, of course he shouldn’t tell them. This is just my opinion. The man will save his family and become a martyr for dying for his faith.

If a shooter is on the loose and lines up people and asks about their faith and if they are Catholic or believe in Christ. Yes they should say they are Christian. The crown of Martyrdom is something nothing in this world can provide, ETERNAL HAPPINESS. It is important to understand that Jesus will be with us in those moments no doubt and God will give us the grace to be courageous. God gives us grace in all situations because he is constantly leading us.

What im trying to say is, never deny your faith in any circumstance. I mean any. What happens when you die and you just deny your faith and you meet Christ face to face as it is promised to us, and he says, “You denied me, I do not know you.” Of course I am not sure what he would say but lets look at scripture and the parable of the Narrow Door:

The Narrow Door; Salvation and Rejection.*

22 He passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. 23 **Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. 25 After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from.’26 And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ 27 Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where [you] are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!’ **28 And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. 29 And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. 30 For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

Peter denied Jesus three times.

But was something from his mouth not by his heart.

I think to myself that I need to be watchful to not be in those circumstances. I think is something avoidable. A lot of Jews saw the nazism growing up and they discerned what could happen and fled before the situation reached the point of non return. Germans understood the Red Army coming and fled too.

I don’t think you would face this faith challenge from an ordinary armed burglar or something. This is done by people with a heavy ideology.

We are required to tell the truth to those who have a right to know the truth. Who has a right to the truth? Everyone except those who upon learning the truth would cause violence to themselves or others. The determination of probable violent action is a matter of prudence.

Martyrs possess the special grace of heroic virtue in putting only their own life at risk.

A twist on the original question, but what if a killer threatens not to kill me but my children and spouse unless I deny my faith?

May that never happen to any of us.

why, please,invent these torments which at base are lies!

. . . :bible1: . . .
“To every thing there is a season, and a
TIME
to every purpose under the heaven:
a TIME to be born, and a TIME to die;
… a TIME to keep silence, and a TIME to speak;”
- Ecclesiastes 3:1,2a,7b
+Upon consideration of the original poster’s question . . . the beautiful Jewess . . . Queen Esther . . . of the . . . Book of Esther in the Old :bible1: Testament . . . came to mind and the counsel of . . . thoughtful discreet silence . . . which Mordechai . . . her uncle who raised her . . . gave to Esther when she was chosen to become one of the maidens to be brought before the king . . . *to possibly become his bride and the queen . . . *

[INDENT]:bible1: " … Mardochai stayed at the king’ s gate, [20] Neither had Esther as yet declared her country and people, according to his commandment. For whatsoever he commanded, Esther observed: and she did all things in the same manner as she was wont at that time when he brought her up a little one." - Esther 2:19b-20[/INDENT]Esther’s silence was quietly and discreetly kept in a difficult and dangerous circumstance . . . and she did speak . . . in due season . . . at the risk of giving up her life . . . when it became necessary . . .

However . . . Queen Esther’s situation was not a response to a direct question regarding her faith in God . . . such as has been asked of many saints . . . and the students at Columbine High School in Colorado . . . and those in the state of Oregon . . . and those in the terrorist attack in California . . . and many others all 'round about the world . . . all of whom were asked if they were Christians . . . and gave up their lives . . . becoming martyrs and heroes in the Faith when they answered . . . yes . . . and did not deny their LORD and Saviour . . . is another gravely serious matter altogether. Below are some clear . . . cautionary . . . portions of Sacred Scripture dealing with this particular type of situation . . .
[INDENT]:bible1: **Matthew 10:33 ** But he that shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father Who is in heaven.

:bible1: Mark 8:34 “And calling the multitude together with His disciples, He said to them: If any man will follow Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross † , and follow Me.”

:bible1: Luke 12:9 “But he that shall deny Me before men, shall be denied before the angels :angel1: of God.”

:bible1: **Timothy 2:12 ** “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He will also deny us.”[/INDENT]
[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+
. . . thank You Sweet Spirit of our Holy God+
. . . thank you Blessed Virgin Mary+
. . . thank you Holy Mother Church+
. . . thank you Blessed St. Jerome+
[/RIGHT]

Lying to the Nazis about hidden Jews, or some similar scenario is something different than being asked about our faith.

We are not to deny our faith at any time, it doesnt matter who is asking, when they ask or why they are asking imo. Jesus never said living in a secular world was supposed to be easy or comfortable for christians, in fact, he said it was going to be the opposite.

If this is wrong then an argument could be made for denying your faith to anyone, at any time, no matter what the situation, so that doesnt seem right to me.

Jesus warned us, christians would be forced to answer this question under threat of death, arrest, torture,etc. He said we must not deny our faith, nothing about whether or not the person or group asking has the right to do so.

Timothy 2:12 "If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He will also deny us.
^^this is pretty clear.

No one is required to be honest to an unjust psychopath aggressor who will kill us if he doesn’t like the answer he receives. No one has the right to murder another nor do they have the right to commit violence against one who follows his conscience in faithful matters. To lie to an unjust aggressor is not only not sinful, it is an act of prudence. I have to wonder what good comes of someone having their brains blown out by not saying what someone wants to hear.

I don’t think so. And even if we were, the lack of Deliberate Consent makes it non-mortal.

If someone’s holding a gun to your head, then nothing they force you to do counts against you because of the lack of Deliberate Consent.

And yes, the three requirements for Mortal Sin also apply to denial of faith. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong.

What concerns me is that the early Church was in a row about whether people who denied Christ under threat of torture and death could even ever be admitted back into the Church. Of course they can be, I don’t disagree with that, but that’s a far cry from saying a person is not culpable for that type of denial at all. Peter himself sinned greatly in denying Christ.

I’m not saying that we therefore mortally sin by denying Christ in these circumstances, but I want a more authoritative source that directly addresses the subject.

There is also a difference between withholding information and outright lying and denial. There’s also a difference between a person being morally culpable for an action and whether an action is wrong.

Back then the Church was still figuring things out. There were a lot of synods, councils, catechisms, counter-reformations, and other adjustments and developments between St. Peter’s time and modern times. Don’t take for granted all the minds that worked hard to examine how the teachings of Christ would apply in new and previously unheard-of situations.

The thing I mentioned about deliberate consent comes from the Vatican itself.

“1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice.”

vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a8.htm

Notice how the catechism I linked to NEVER says"except for denial of faith, that is mortal even without knowledge or consent".

Therefore we can conclude that denial of faith must include deliberate consent for it to be a mortal sin.

As for whether or not the action is wrong - regardless of how sinful it is if at all - I think it is safe to say that denial of faith is wrong. HOWEVER, I would argue that someone doing this under threat of death or after torture is not doing any action at all because free will has been stripped from him. Instead I would attribute the action to the person holding the gun.

I’m aware of the requirements for mortal sin. Let’s consider a different situation. You’re given a knife and a gun is put to your head. The person holding that gun orders you to shoot the innocent sitting in front of you, or he will shoot you. Are you morally culpable for shooting the innocent?

Well, I messed up my scenario. Not sure how you can shoot someone with a knife. :rolleyes:

Easy. It’s a gun-knife.14544-presscdn-0-64.pagely.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/grad_standard.jpg

Though your point is decent and I’m prone to agree with you. And going back to the early Christians example earlier, they were most certainly under threat of death yet they braved the lions rather than deny God. Basically the gun-to-the-head scenario.

I thought the knife was so I could try to fight off the attacker.

In any case, I’d say that whatever I do is an unconscious reaction than a conscious choice. In situations like this, the brain’s rational part switches off and the fight-or-flight part switches on.

I’d be wary of trusting pre-Vatican II policy. The Church wasn’t always the way it is now, so using the actions of Early Christians to set policy would be like determining what an adult man would want you to do by looking at videos of him as a baby (instead of, ya know, asking him).

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