The sinfullness of anger?

Hi all,

I am quite sincerely confused and need your help.

I know anger is a sin most of the time, because it is so tied up with pride often.

But then Jesus was very angry in the market place.

Is he the only one entitled to anger? Because of his perfection? (I guess Our Lady is entitled to anger too in that case)

I ask because today my boss sent me a text message asking me to do something unethical at work. I got very very angry, and ended up calling him and told him off.

He respectfully disagreed with me (keeping his cool) and expressed his sincere surprise that I was angry. He then sent me an email saying I was being a bit unfair and once again asking me to do this unethical thing.

My husband thinks I should apologise for being so angry, and then say to him I will talk later about this thing. He also says that I should try and see things from their perspective.

By the way, the unethical thing he asked me to do is to withhold results from our collaborators that disprove a large part of our scientific theory. He doesn’t want me to tell anyone about my findings until he gives the go ahead. My big fear is because he wants us to go ahead and publish without acknowledging this experiment.

He says “We don’t know if you are right…” but the experiment shows without a doubt I am right; he is exhibiting madness… this is much the same as a person waving money in front of a parking officer saying “you didn’t see anything.” He thinks I am also motivated by wanting a publication.

Can you see why I am mad?

Do I owe him an apology?

My husband says I can still hold my moral position without being angry and I should apologise for the anger I showed. But I can’t disconnect my feeling of deep anger from this issue.

I feel terrible! So I know perhaps I am sinning. Always our work is tied up with pride. I am quite sincerely feeling awful about this, and realized I do not understand the Churches teachings on anger. This is a really raw point for me, as I have been asked to falsify my results before, and when I refused it lead to harassment and I had to leave that job.

Your various opinions would be so much appreciated.

I think you will agree that when Jesus got angry it did not fit into the definition of sinful anger.

CCC 2302 By recalling the commandment, "You shall not kill,"our Lord asked for peace of heart and denounced murderous anger and hatred as immoral.

Anger is a desire for revenge. “To desire vengeance in order to do evil to someone who should be punished is illicit,” but it is praiseworthy to impose restitution “to correct vices and maintain justice.” If anger reaches the point of a deliberate desire to kill or seriously wound a neighbor, it is gravely against charity; it is a mortal sin. The Lord says, “Everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment.”

Anger in itself is not sinful, but acting on it often is. When Jesus was angry, it was a righteous anger because the vendors in the temple were in the wrong. When you got angry at your boss for asking you to do something unethical, it was also a righteous anger, but maybe you could have handled it better.

My husband says I can ***still hold my moral position without being angry ***and I should apologise for the anger I showed. But I can’t disconnect my feeling of deep anger from this issue.

Your husband is partly right, you can hold your moral position without reacting in anger. And you do owe your boss an apology, not for being angry but for telling him off, which was disrespectful.

I find both your posts really helpful. I do thankyou both!

Hi Gliggle, please don’t be offended by my straight forward way of communicating. I have no intention of being disrespectful, it’s the only way I know how. First of all, I would like to clarify Jesus’ anger at the temple. Jesus was angry because the people were disrespectful of His Father’s house; the place of worship. Jesus was not angry for himself but He was passionately protecting his Father. In your case, please examine the situation and ask yourself, you’re angry because you’re protecting the innocents or you’re protecting self interests? Jesus was also obedient. At Gethsemane, Jesus asked His Father to excused Him from going through the suffering but because of obedience, even though it’s against Jesus’ wish, He complied to His Father’s command. The Roman soldiers treated Jesus worse than a “dog”. Jesus could’ve lifted his finger and all these tiny humans would disappear but Jesus didn’t do that, again, because of obedience. Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of Christ did not mention one scene because it was too graphic. The scene they didn’t mention was after the scouring of Jesus, Jesus’ body was covered with blood. The soldiers wrapped cloth around Jesus tightly against his bloodied skin. Once the blood dried up and the cloth glued to his skin, they took Jesus to the center of the colosseum where there were thousands of spectators shouting and screaming at Jesus. With intentions, the Roman soldiers quickly stripped the cloth from Jesus’ body and His skin was also peeled off along with the cloth. The spectators and Roman soldiers then spit on Jesus. All the while, Jesus just stood there naked with His head down and said nothing. The next story I heard from a Catholic radio. I don’t remember the specific details. Pope Benedict the XVI is a very intelligent man. When Pope Benedict was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he disagree with one of Vatican’s ‘documents’. Cardinal Ratzinger spent several years doing research and wrote his own document proving the Vatican’s document was wrong but Ratzinger was reluctant voicing his disagreement to the Vaitcan. With encouragement from his close friend, Ratzinger submitted his document to the Vatican. After 6 long months of waiting; the Vatican responded that Ratzinger was wrong and not to bring this topic up again. Ratzinger’s friend was very upset and asked if Ratzinger will continue to fight. Ratzinger said, “If the Vatican said I’m wrong, then I’m wrong”. Ratzinger put his years of research aside and never mention it again, My point of telling you these stories is to share with you how a great man and the Son of God stayed obedient to their superiors. Your boss may be making decisions based on information that you do not have. You may think your experiment was 100% correct but your boss may see it differently. Please remember that our superiors have different responsibilities than their subordinates. I don’t know you’re angry if your experiment is not published because you wanted your work to be known and you wanted to be recognized or because it will hurt others. Living in this secular world is very difficult I can feel your situation because I’m fighting the evil temptations every day at work. The temptations of pride, anger, ego, vanity, and so on. The movie The Passion was inspired by the book written by Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich. Mel Gibson was browsing through the book shelf looking for a book to read. As he was trying to pull out the book he wanted, the book next to it fell off the shelf. Mel picked up the book and started reading it; of course, you know the rest of the story. I suggest you read this book. It’s beautifully written and easy to understand. The first part if the book talked about Anne. The way she lived her life was so inspiring that made me said to myself, I need to think like her and try to live like her. It seems like you also have some trouble deciding which action is moral or not. I’m attaching a class on morality taught by a well known theologian. This theologian is a Traditional Catholic. He teaches the truth before the truth became smeared by Vatican II and modernism. Let me give you some examples: Is killing a fetus to save a mother’s life or vice versa moral? Is donating our organs moral? You fell asleep behind the wheel and accidentally hit another car, was your actions immoral? If you can’t answer these questions, this class will teach you how to answer them. CLASS 1:–church-militant-tv/Michael-Voris–Apologetics–Morality-Class–1.html CLASS 2:–church-militant-tv/Michael-Voris–Apologetics–Morality-Class–2.html

Hi Orange1968,

Thanks so much for taking the time to write such a thoughtful reply. I will try and read this book you mention when I get a chance, I have read The life of Mary by the same author and really liked it.

I can definitely understand your point about what Benedict did, submitting to the will of his superiors, in a spirit of humility. I think he is very a wonderful man, and I love to hear stories like this. I will try and examine my motives in such a spirit.

I wonder if you would discuss further, as I don’t have much time to watch these videos.

I feel like my position is not quite as clearly defined as you think. To me it seems every profession operates under certain professional standards which a superior has no right to ask you to breach.

Maybe an example. If a surgeon was about to go into to surgery, and his boss told him he must not scrub his hands, what should he do? Follow this order though it endanger the patient and breaches the standards of his profession?

It seems to me a breach of the ethical standards of my profession (Academic researcher) to withhold a negative finding from collaborators. After checking last night I discovered it actually even says so in my contract. I will be seeing a confidential university advisor on the issue to ask his advice, and will also see the University Chaplain and ask his advice.

But also curious what you think about the conflict between the ethics of a profession and obeying a superior?

There is nothing wrong with your feeling indignant. You only need to apologize to your boss if you said anything disrespectful or rude to him, such as you are a jerk!, etc… I don’t think you were disrespectful or rude with him, but only indignant with righteous anger (and with good reason). But if you said anything disrespectful or rude, then you can apologize for it, without feeling any less strongly that your boss is unethical and wrong. I commend you for your good ethics and honesty! However, it is better to be calm (yet firm) when facing opposition; we should not tell people off, we should help them to see the truth calmly. God bless you!

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