Question of Detraction

If someone informs you that you need to do something that sounds shady (this is supposing its being given with your supervisor’s instruction) and you confide in another co-worker about this/the details, would it be a grave sin of detraction? I needed to talk to someone about what was supposedly asked of me…it sounded shady, dishonest and illegal. I didn’t feel I could talk to this supervisor about this.

Sounds more like gossip to me. Perhaps you may need to file a report or tell a supervisor, but do not feel comfortable doing this? Are you in a bad working environment or struggle with social phobia? It sounds more like your conscience wants you to do good, and it will not be easy?

If you have a morally proportionate reason for telling your boss or co-workers this, then it is not detraction…

If you are preventing damage proportionate to the damage that could be caused by revealing the faults of others (ie: in government you tell someone not to vote for a candidate b/c he has done shady things in the past, supports abortion, or anything of that sort) then it is ABSOLUTELY NOT sinful.

Detraction by its nature is unjust…

In your case, I personally believe that it would be RIGHT to tell your boss this.

I needed to talk to someone about it…I didn’t know what to do about the situation…we discussed what I was being asked to do/how it wasn’t right, etc but I didn’t try to run the supervisor’s name in the ground. I was afraid if I refused to do what was supposedly being asked of me…of retaliation. I also shared this with her. I suffer from scrupulosity so its hard to know when to speak up and when to stay shut up. Luckily the situation has been resolved and had no retaliation.

If you believe it concerns illegal activity, then how about talking to the police about it,
In Australia, we have Crimestoppers , it’s a phone number you ring to inform police of suspicious behaviour annonnomosly , do you have something like that available ?
If you wish just to tell someone,anyone, you could alway P M. Me…
But it sounds like a possible police matter if it sounds to you to be illegal

The Catechism says:

"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." (emphasis mine)

You were instructed to do something you thought was shady, and needed to talk to someone about it. Your intent was not to harm your supervisor’s reputation, but to make sense of the situation by seeking peer-review, while acknowledging your tendency toward scrupulosity. I would say that is “objectively valid” and therefore NOT detraction. :slight_smile:

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