Week of 19 November 2018

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour

~ The 8th Commandment ~

Christians too can be caught up in networks of verbal violence through the internet and the various forums of digital communication. Even in Catholic media, limits can be overstepped, defamation and slander can become commonplace, and all ethical standards and respect for the good name of others can be abandoned. The result is a dangerous dichotomy, since things can be said there that would be unacceptable in public discourse, and people look to compensate for their own discontent by lashing out at others. It is striking that at times, in claiming to uphold the other commandments, they completely ignore the eighth, which forbids bearing false witness or lying, and ruthlessly vilify others. Here we see how the unguarded tongue, set on fire by hell, sets all things ablaze (cf. Jas 3:6).

Pope Francis
Gaudete et Exsultate 115

 

Lord,

Help me to

speak the truth.

Help me to not lie.

Give me a tongue

that sings your

praise and keep

me from killing

the reputations

of others.

Amen.

 

Catholic Parliamentary

Liaison Office

Jesuit Institute
South Africa

Reflection prepared by Matthew Charlesworth SJ